Momo is Not Sad. Trace Moroney. Sesame Publication Co. 2012.
Emotions. Kids. We love emotions when our kids squeal with delight at, “Hi, Hungry. I’m dad.” We’re less than enchanted when there is a weeping puddle of tears and flailing limbs because “I know you want the pink spoon but it’s in the dishwasher.” But it happens. Kids get angry, sad, frustrated along with happy, bold, and elated.
Enter Momo. Momo is a kid who is a rabbit, and a rabbit who is in touch with his emotions. In this book Momo is not sad. In other books in the series he is “angry,” “not scared,” and even “jealous.” Educating kids on their emotions is a core skill set for success in their lives. This Momo books has a clear sequence 1) how to recognize the emotion of sadness, 2) common causes of sadness, and 3) some strategies to deal with sadness.
The edition reviewed is in traditional Chinese characters with pinyin directly underneath for pronunciation help. For kids who know Chinese, the pinyin provides a nice scaffold for them to build up their reading skills. For those learning Chinese, there is a cheat sheet in the back with English translations. The sentences are simple enough that Chinese learners who know the basics should be able to compare the Chinese with the English meaningfully.
While the series deals in the prickliest of emotions, the illustrations are soft and cuddly. Anyone who’s had an emotions (and hope you all have) knows that they can be hard to describe. The pictures succeed in demonstrating the metaphors we use to try to capture emotions.
Overall, it’s possible to teach kids about emotions and teach kids Chinese at the same time.