The clean simplicity of the book’s design and concepts make this very accessible for a young audience, while the richer subtleties of the illustrations and the conversational tone will provoke plenty of worthwhile discussion. This will be a useful and attractive addition to curricular studies of feelings, as well as a handy tool for parents and an enjoyable selection for library storytimes.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
While the text itself communicates each emotion—using large, bold letters for surprised, a smaller font for lonely, letters that seem to leap up and down for funny, and so forth—it’s Browne’s brightly colored watercolor-and-gouache illustrations of the expressive chimp that truly convey the animal’s feelings best.
With blue overalls, a green sweater, yellow sneakers and a trademark Browne primate face, this toddler-shaped chimp really catches the eye. He looks up at an unseen speaker, who asks, “How do you feel?” The young chimp demonstrates various feelings: “Sometimes I feel very happy… / and sometimes I feel sad”; sometimes confident, guilty, angry, silly, shy or worried. Browne uses scale, hue, facial expression and minimalist backgrounds to make each watercolor-and-gouache picture fetching in its own way.
“How do you feel?” asks an adorable, overall-clad monkey. The cute little primate discusses a range of emotions that children might experience in a variety of situations.
—School Library Journal
This deceptively simple book introduces an overalls-clad chimp who evokes a spectrum of emotions as he answers the titular question. Though the minimal text is forthright, Browne’s nuanced watercolor and gouache pictures use body language and other cues to amplify each emotion… The chimp models 14 emotions and other feelings (like hungry and full) in total, all of which reappear in miniature on a final spread that asks readers directly how they feel, cementing the book’s usefulness as a tool to both introduce emotions and encourage discussions of readers’ feelings.
Taking children through happy and sad, confident and shy and beyond, Mr. Browne’s gentle drawings will leave toddlers better equipped to explain themselves in a culture that prizes self-awareness.
—The Wall Street Journal