Kelly Hill’s Anne’s Feelings joins the other Anne concept books, Anne’s Colors, Anne’s Numbers and Anne’s Alphabet. Paying attention to the first word in the books’ titles is the key to approaching the books’ contents as the “Anne” is Anne Shirley of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables, and this point is underlined by the statement that appears just above the cover title – “Inspired by Anne of Green Gables”.
In Anne’s Feelings, via pairs of facing pages, Hill presents 11 emotions that Anne experienced at some point in the contents of Anne of Green Gables. The brief text appears on one page and follows the pattern of “Anne is ...”. What Anne is feeling is spelled out in stitched cloth letters of different colours and designs. And so young readers learn that, feelings-wise, Anne is: hopeful, in the depths of despair, calm, excited, angry, scared, happy, brave, surprised, full of wonder, and she loves.
The remaining page in each pair contains Hill’s cloth illustration that is to represent the named emotion, with most being successful in doing so. On a first reading to a child (or group of children), it might be instructive to NOT name the emotions and to just listen to what the children “see” by “reading” Anne’s facial expressions and body posture. Children who have already encountered Anne’s Alphabet may recognize that the dress Anne is wearing in the “Anne is brave” page is the same one that appears in the “P is for puffed sleeves” illustration.
Though the contents of Anne’s Feelings are rooted in happenings in Anne of Green Gables, largely the connections are much less obvious, and so the intended young audience may take more from this title than they have from the other three books.
Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.