Friday, August 21, 2009

Review: When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry ...

When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry . . . (Paperback), by Molly Bang. Sophie gets angry after being forced to share her toy gorilla with her sister. So angry she "wants to smash the world to smithereens." Vivid, impressionist-style illustrations in rich orange, red, and yellow show Sophie about to explode like a volcano. Sophie runs to a forested area and cries for awhile. She then notices the trees, birds, breeze, and water. She calms down, returns home, and rejoins her family. Recommended ages: 4-8. Recipient of a Caldecott Honor.


"She runs and runs and runs until she can't run anymore."

Bookworm's interest at 21 months: Although the lesson here is aimed at an older child, he did enjoy as I read this to him. He's just starting to understand frowns and smiles as representations of happy and sad (and mad), so he found Sophie's frowning face somewhat amusing. Or at least, he found my imitation and explanation of her frowning face amusing.

Parent's Peeve: I have mixed feelings. My first thought was that I didn't like the idea that a child should run away from home and into a wooded area alone when angry. As a city dweller now (and the parent of such a young child), it's difficult to imagine allowing my children that freedom, which I know I had when younger. I took a peek at amazon's customer reviews to see if I was alone in my thinking, and reviews are mixed, because of the same concern. The last page poses a question (nearly missed, beneath the author 's dedication): "When Sophie gets angry, she runs out and climbs her favorite tree. Different people handle anger in different ways. What do you do when you get angry?" I can see this being a very useful tool for having these conversations with children, particularly those prone to angry outbursts. So I'd recommend reading this together if at all.

What do you all think? Do you have other books about dealing with anger or emotions? How do you teach your little ones to handle anger and frustration? Our little guy sometimes starts to fuss when he can't do something (and don't dare offer to help!), so I'm trying to teach him to take a breath and try again slowly. But I think it can be useful to think about tools for anger before you really need to use them.

1 comment:

Christy said...

My five year old son might benefit from this book. He is intense, to say the least. I definitely understand your concern about the book. I guess I would just discuss Sophie's decision and whether it is a good way to handle the situation. That's obviously easier with a five year old than with a toddler.