Minilab Loves- Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
‘It’s not always easy being a tough guy’ begins Keith Negley’s ‘Tough Guys Have Feelings Too’, alongside a striking image of a big, tough-looking wrestler, who’s clearly upset in the locker room. Maybe he’s just lost a fight? Or he’s scared to face his opponent? Immediately, the book opens up a conversation between parent and child, asking them what might be making this character we’re far more accustomed to seeing as tough, sad.
The book continues with more striking images of tough guys clearly showing their emotions and vulnerability. We see an astronaut, sad and clutching a photo of his family that he’s missing back at home, ninjas crying because they’ve fallen out over a game and a racing car driver with tears flowing from his eyes because he didn’t quite manage to win the race. These are all feelings that we at Minilab can empathise with and all children can relate to. There are plenty of books available for children with a focus on feisty girl princesses and tough boy heroes, but this story shows kids that, hey, it’s ok, sometimes we all get a little sad and it’s an important to talk about.
Perhaps the most emotive moment comes at the end of the story, with a touching image of a dad sitting in bed with his child, reading a bedtime story, saying ‘just like these tough guys who love each other very much’ which follows from ‘And it’s ok to show them. This simple but poignant story tells us that, whether love or sadness, fear or pride, we all experience all kinds of feelings and we’re all the tougher for showing them. We also particularly love the endpapers that at the start show the child dressed up in tough guy costumes, playing on his own, but at the end, he’s playing with his dad. We see them hugging, racing, the dad giving a piggy-back- subtly conveying the feelings of the tough guys through imaginative play. We love ‘Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)’- great job Keith Negley and Flying Eye Books! Grab your copy here!