Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

Film & Books: Pixar’s Inside Out

From l-r, Fear, Disgust, Sadness, Joy, and Anger help run Riley's brain
From l-r, Fear, Disgust, Sadness, Joy, and Anger help run Riley’s brain

American audiences won’t get to see Disney/Pixar’s latest film Inside Out until June 19th, but the film recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The resulting outpouring of affection for the film from critics and those lucky enough to view it hints to librarians that we may have another summer of children devoted to a specific movie on our hands!

For those who haven’t yet seen the trailer, Inside Out takes an anthropomorphic look at our emotions. The protagonist, a pre-teen girl named Riley, experiences a personality shift when Joy and Sadness (voiced by Amy Poehler and Phyllis from the Office!) get trapped outside of Riley’s brain’s Command Center, leaving Fear, Anger, and Disgust to take over her personality (perhaps this happens to all teenagers?)

Brave Horace by Holly Keller helps children accept their fears.
Brave Horace by Holly Keller helps children accept their fears.

At my library, we tend not to purchase books based on movies or tv shows. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, and we’ve broken it many times before, but though they’ve been in my carts, I haven’t yet purchased any titles related to this upcoming movie. Instead, knowing ahead of time how popular we expect Inside Out to be has allowed us to start to pull together a list of children’s picture books that deal with the same sort of emotions focused on in the film. Books like When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry and Stuck with the Blooz help children explore those conflicting emotions that it can be difficult to talk about, and as a great bonus, we already own them, so we don’t have to buy new books right at the end of our fiscal year!

What are your favorite emotion books for kids? Are you ask excited about Inside Out as I am?



  1. Cheri Crow

    Thanks for keeping us up-to-date about what might be popular with our patrons. In terms of best book about fears – for me, nothing beats Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. On another note, you are one of the many libraries that I’ve heard of who refrain from buying materials based on popular children’s movies ot tv shows. I do not understand this policy and wonder if it holds true for your adult collection. The other day I visited a WIC office in my community to give away some books and tell parents about library programming. Unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish, but many of the parents and children That were there do. Lucky for me, there happened to be a healthy eating brochure with Sesame Street characters on it. This was the very thing I needed to start a very limited conversation with a four year old and his mom. We looked at all the pictures and found characters that we both knew – Cookie Monster, Elmo and Zoe and then I pointed to things they were eating, said them in English and the little boy and mom told me them in Spanish. I think we need to see these movies and shows as a way for us to connect with our readers in a new way. That day I was so glad to have Elmo to help me out.

    1. Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla Post author

      Hi Cheri!

      It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, like I said. I think I’ve talked about our library’s policy here on the ALSC blog before, but I couldn’t find the post when I was writing this one! We do have Sesame Street and Spongebob and Scooby Doo and some Disney compendiums. Mostly the policy is there to keep us from having to buy every $2 paperback that accompanies the latest show kids will like for 2 minutes. 🙂 We’re not strict about it all and exceptions are more the rule than not, if that makes sense!

      1. Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla Post author

        Oh! And I should add that the adult collection doesn’t really run into this problem, as most TV shows and movies for adults with print media tie-ins tend to be based on books that already existed.

  2. Jacquie | @After_Words

    As a patron of Elisabeth’s library, I can attest to the presence of movie and tv tie- in books in the collection: my kids have been ardent fans of the Scooby Doo, Star Wars, and Disney books over the years. I particularly like that the tie-in books are shelved among the other books so that while my kids might have been initially intrigued by the tie-in component, they have an opportunity to discover non-tie-in books as well. (And we are super excited about this movie, too!)

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