Reviewed on August 19, this is a book that’s not only appropriate as a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, but any time a friend is feeling under the weather.
When You Feel Better
When You Feel Better is essentially a book-length greeting card for a sick friend. Subtitled A Get Well Soon Gift that Lasts Longer than Flowers but is Just as Beautiful, it’s a delightful story in which ailing Koala is comforted by Bunny describing the adventures they’ll enjoy once Koala is well again.
As they snuggle in a big chair, Bunny describes nighttime park romps, flying kites, camping, climbing trees, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, riding in a hot air balloon, skating under the Northern Lights, and even a space expedition … but since Koala isn’t feeling well, Bunny promises “I’ll always be near — to talk to you, laugh with you, fill you with cheer” — and assures Koala they’ll eventually realize all those dreams together.
Misty Black’s mellifluous rhymes are illustrated by Marina Batrak, who enriches her colorful drawings with companions like fireflies, squirrels, cats, butterflies, dogs, lizards, eagles, starfish, dragonflies, penguins, and smiling stars. A ladybug is hidden in every spread, as well as parts of Koala’s quilt. Additionally, three reader pets — cats Zippy and Zoe, and pup Chloe — are included in an escapade for readers to find. Each spread is filled with so many surprises that readers will be entertained after every perusal, as well as comforted by the love of a good friend.
When You Feel Better is a cheerful rhyming book to comfort sick children from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, and its imaginative illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to gently encourage compassion and empathy.