The Grand Hotel of Feelings

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Book Review, Picture Book

Through the forest (cover)

Book Details

The Grand Hotel of Feelings

Lidia Branković, illus. Lidia Branković. London: Cicada Books, hb, 978 1 80066 041 0, 2023, £12.99, 32pp.

Picture book, 4-8 years.

At the Grand Hotel of Feelings, any feeling is welcomed and accommodated for, and this beautifully illustrated book smoothly navigates the complexities of emotional management.

In this ornate, Wes Anderson-esque hotel, every type of feeling is given a room for however long they wish to stay. These feelings come in all shapes and sizes, and some are even invisible.

The book follows the Hotel Manager, who aims to understand the unique needs of each feeling so that they can all be best looked after. For example, Anger, with her red fiery hair, needs plenty of space to scream and shout, whereas Sadness, who floods the bathroom with tears, needs listening to carefully. When Love checks in, the hotel is transformed into a ‘magical place’ full of joy and laughter. The most dependable guest is Gratitude, who comes and sits by the Manager’s side when they spend time in nature.

In a warm and humorous manner, The Grand Hotel of Feelings facilitates discussions between children and adults around the complexity of feelings and how to manage them. Whilst the feelings are very abstract, it employs a powerful metaphor for mindfulness and emotional regulation through the idea of everyone playing host to their own ‘hotel of feelings’. The message is that these feelings should not be rushed, but instead are given everything they need, so they can come and go exactly as they please. 

Lidia Branković’s vibrant and varied illustrations are full of rich colours and small details that spark the imagination, prompting further discussions.


Review by Emily Gilbert