Why Do We Cry?

Fran Pintadera
Ana Sender

This sensitive, poetic picture book uses metaphors and beautiful imagery to explain the reasons for our tears, making it clear that everyone is allowed to cry, and that everyone does.

In a soft voice, Mario asks, “Mother, why do we cry?” His mother thinks for a moment, and then begins to tell him about the many reasons for our tears. We cry because our sadness is so huge it must escape from our bodies. Because we don't understand the world, and our tears go in search of an answer. Because we can't find the right words, and our tears speak a universal language. Most important, she tells him, we cry because we feel like crying. And, as she shows him then, sometimes we feel like crying for joy.

By exploring the causes of our tears, Fran Pintadera's thoughtful, poetic picture book story defends the right to cry and reinforces crying's importance as a way to release our pain, to calm us and to help us grow. Though the question is asked by the boy, the illustrations of his mother's answers feature her as a child, adding a layer of empathy to her message. Ana Sender's artwork uses color and symbolic images along with facial expressions and body language to beautifully capture the mood and emotion being described on each spread. This warm, reassuring hug of a book provides just the response every adult would want to have to the central question. Supporting social-emotional learning, it makes an excellent choice for discussions about feelings and crying. To extend the concepts in the story, back matter describes the physical aspects and benefits of tears and provides two activities.

978-1-5253-0477-4 | Apr 7, 2020
List Price: USD $19.99, CAD $21.99
4-color 11 x 9 1/2 34 pages
Grades: PreSchool To 2 / Ages: 3 to 7
978-1-5253-0503-0 | Apr 7, 2020
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Awards & Reviews

“This exploration of tears is reassuring and nonjudgmental.”
— Kirkus Reviews, December 2019
“... accessible and profound ...”
— Booklist, Starred Review, February 2020
“A sensitive, creative exploration of a universal phenomenon.”
— School Library Journal, Starred Review, February 2020
“As mental health issues rise, more and more parents are coming into libraries looking for books that talk about feelings, and Why Do We Cry? is an excellent book to recommend.”
— CM Magazine, June 2020
2021 - Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens List, Capitol Choices, Winner
2021 - Best Children's Books List, Bank Street College, Winner
2020 - Parents` Choice Gold Award, Parents` Choice Foundation, Winner
2020 - Emotional Health Category, Northern Lights Book Awards, Winner

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