The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has left many searching for a way to cope with daily struggles. Fran Pintadera’s picture book on the concept of crying serves as a unique tool to explain to all audiences how tears are an essential outlet for facing the various stages and phases of life. With exquisite full color illustrations by Ana Sender, there is an aura of compassion in the poetic text as a mother explains to her young son why people cry.
Young Mario spends an afternoon with his mother at the park. When he asks the all-important question of why people cry, his mother closes her eyes and is taken back to the days of her childhood. Readers are invited to feel the same feelings with the mother as she faces sadness, anger, and loneliness. The mother is confronted with situations that she doesn’t understand, or cannot explain, leaving tears as her recourse. Pintadera carefully emphasizes one word or phrase per stanza to draw the reader’s eye to a central concept on the page, with Sender’s illustrations completing the vision, or allowing audiences to create their own.
Ultimately the mother (and Pintadera) encourage tears as part of growing up and facing life. Little Mario learns that people cry because they feel like it, there’s an instinct inside of them waiting to come out into the world. The author and illustrator take the time to point out and celebrate the fact that individuals can cry because they are happy and feel joy. There’s no one explanation for tears because the reasons behind them are just as unique as the people who experience them.
The backmatter of the book holds a wealth of information about the concept of tears which can assist in eliminating the stigma around this common occurrence. Curious readers can learn about the different shape and texture of tear drops and learn that like humans, tears are unique.