What Does “Fine” Feel Like?
Sabrina Vandine Smith (author) Jack Foster (illustrator)
Halo Publishing International (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (11/2022)
Throughout the world, the word “fine” has become an instinctive response to questions such as “How was your day?” or “How are you?” It is normally seen as a safety blanket of feelings that does not normally elicit further questions or utterances. At times, the word “fine” may not mean fine, but is a word often used to hide our vulnerability, which can feel awkward or threatening.
For children, the word fine conveys a wide array of emotions such as splendid, overwhelming, angry, anxious, confused, remorseful, doubtful, respected, and many others. In modern times, acronyms and short-form answers are the avant-garde among many, and this forms the essence of Sabrina Vandine Smith’s work.
“What Does “Fine” Feel Like?” is a whimsical children’s picture book that provides young readers with a revolutionary and realistic outlook on how to attach the right vocabulary to different feelings as well as come to terms with the cognitive growth of one’s emotions. Also, the luscious text invokes a keen desire for the benefit of slowing down, taking a sober interest in others as well as honestly assessing how we are doing.
With deftly crafted words that inspire vocabulary learning, this lovely text is imbued with beautiful and succulent watercolor illustrations by illustrator Jack Foster and whose colors are affecting and vibrant. Bound to capture the eye and mind of even an attention-wandering child, “What Does “Fine” Feel Like?” is certainly a sumptuous gala for the heart and spirit.
Smith encourages readers to take hold of their radiance without fear, be earnest about their feelings, and speak them out, while also asserting the need for self-acceptance. She further emphasizes the importance for one to admit and confess their true feelings in various situations, bringing out the best in themselves as one imparts good vibes to those with whom one interacts. She is candid and heartfelt with the message she endeavors to pass to young ones, particularly on the need to be self-confident in life. Her tone is uplifting and cheerful, a factor that gives this picture book an elevated poise.
“What Does “Fine” Feel Like?” by Sabrina Vandine Smith is, without a doubt, a sprightly and imaginative five-star text with a quietly powerful approach that parents will find necessary for their children to learn.