Bold colors and a sweet story help young readers explore emotions. Here's an appealing tale of two dogs, Milo and his friend, Ellie. In simple text and bright pictures, they run the gamut of intense emotions so familiar to the parents of young children--and to children themselves. From the joy of a game to jealousy over scooter rides, Milo and Ellie demonstrate that it's okay to have strong feelings. In the end, they are friends again, and everyone feels happy together.
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PreSchool-Grade 1-A cursory introduction to emotions. When Milo's friend Ellie comes over for the day, the two pups explore the backyard and play hide-and-seek. The visit ends on a bad note when Milo is reluctant to share a scooter, and his friend goes home with her feelings hurt. After thinking it over, he apologizes and the two are reunited. The story is told from Milo's point of view in short, simple sentences that relate events and describe the way they make the characters feel ("We chase. We feel happy" or "I show Ellie my scooter. I feel proud"). Dialogue balloons punctuate the text and help to clarify the dogs' emotions. The colorful, eye-catching illustrations feature simple figures outlined with thick black lines set against bright hues. The uncluttered backgrounds and clean lines focus attention on the interaction between the two animals. While the repetition in the text hinders the punch of the story, this book might still be useful in helping children to identify their feelings and to begin to understand the complicated nature of friendship.
Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Miley, the little yellow dog from Murphy's Here Comes Spring and Summer and Autumn and Winter (1999) and You Smell and Taste and Feel and See and Hear (1997), plays with his doggie friend Ellie until they quarrel and she goes home. After Miley apologizes, they play happily together again. All through the first-person text, Miley identifies the puppies' feelings and moods. For instance, when Ellie tries out Miley's scooter, he reflects, "Ellie goes faster than me. She feels happy. `Give it back!' I feel mad." The text offers young children a basic vocabulary for naming their emotions. Given the common admonition of day-care and preschool teachers to "use your words," that's a worthwhile basis for a picture book. Reflecting the simplicity and directness of the text, the illustrations feature strong black outlines and colors related to the characters' emotions. Young children will enjoy this forthright picture book, which will fit right into preschool and kindergarten units on feelings. Carolyn Phelan
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