The Children’s Book Review | October 1, 2019
Written by M.C. Goldrick
Illustrated by Rebecca Alexander
Age Range: 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: MotherButterfly Books (2019)
What to Expect: Emotions, Self-Awareness, Rhyme
Brad Was Sad is a rhyming picture book that safely explores emotions. Brad discovers an inner strength to own his feelings and self-regulate.
On the opening page, Brad sits with his dog Plaid. Brad is feeling sad because his dad got really mad. An illustration shows Brad’s dad stepping on Lego-style blocks scattered on the floor. Next, Brad feels grumpy because his mom made his oatmeal lumpy. When he starts singing, his sister hurts his feelings by saying he sounds like a pig squealing. When Plaid chews up Brad’s toy, Brad is so angry with his dog that he yells and slams his door, but soon after discovers that Plaid is happily wagging his tail and seems glad to see him. This causes Brad to wonder how Plaid could move on so quickly from hurt feelings.
“I had yelled and called him bad. Used the same words as my dad. Why was I still staying sad?”
With this turning point, Brad takes some time to self-reflect and discovers that it is he alone that gets to choose how long his feelings can linger.
“Feelings are good.
I won’t push them away.
But once felt, they need not stay.”
With confidence and clarity, author M.C. Goldrick demonstrates through Brad that the power of our own emotions belongs to the individual. Nobody can tell us how to feel or when to feel it. Sure, feelings will be hurt or lifted from day to day or even moment to moment, but all feelings are okay and we get to decide for ourselves when to let them go. This is a wonderfully relatable and important message to impart on young readers (and even their caregivers). Goldrick’s zippiest rhyme is a fun affirmation:
“Never again will I vow to disallow my inner WOW!”
For families and classrooms of younger children that are exploring the idea of emotions, Brad Was Sad makes a positive contribution and will leave readers feeling empowered to find their own inner strength, just like Brad.
Buy the Book
About the Author
Award-winning author & mother of two, M.C. Goldrick sees feelings as our first language. Through her books she helps us identify and own our emotions. Her acclaimed Juvenile fiction series TIMEFLIES is an example of how stories can both enrich and entertain. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with her family.
About the Illustrator
Rebecca Alexander, mother of two now-grown-up boys, is an accomplished artist with a private gallery. Her work has been featured on Canada Post Christmas Cards & stamps. She lives in St.Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This non-biased review of “Brad Was Sad” was sponsored* by MotherButterfly Books. Learn more about getting a book review …