"And? And is just one word? How is that helpful?"
Bobby is getting ready to go away to summer camp for the first time and is having a lot of feelings all at once. He's excited but he's also scared and worried. These big feelings are causing Bobby to feel terrible and act out, even being mean to his best friend Milo.
Lucky, Milo remembers feeling the same way when he first went to summer camp until he learned the power of AND. He shares his experience and what he has learned with Bobby and helps his friend overcome his fear.
AND is a book about feelings, friendship, and the permission to feel multiple, conflicting feelings all at once.
This is where the book’s one-word title comes into play. Bobby shares with Milo that people can feel more than one thing at a time—for example, he can be excited and nervous at the same time. This realization frees Milo from trying to sort out his conflicting emotions, which he expresses in a relatable way: “When I tell myself to be excited, I feel scared again, which makes me mad all over.” As Bobby points out, kids aren’t typically taught that they can feel many things at once, so this vital lesson will give readers tools to sort through overwhelming situations in their own lives.
Hopkins’ illustrations use moody, muted hues that complement the subject matter. Many scenes show Milo and Bobby walking along a sidewalk, their confusion or frustration evident on their faces. Some of the most powerful images delve into the characters’ inner worlds—in one instance, Bobby sits dejectedly in a corner while the words “TOO BIG” hover above him, and in another the boys swing from tree limbs while a glowing ampersand bounces between them. The book finishes with activities to help young readers explore their own feelings, making this reassuring story an excellent social-emotional learning tool.
Takeaway: Illuminating story of a boy learning that he can feel many things at once.
Comparable Titles: Britney Winn Lee’s The Boy with Big, Big Feelings, Anna Llenas’s The Color Monster.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A