BOOKS THAT HELP – ANGER AND ‘BAD’ MOODS

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SWEEP (Louise Grieg, Júlia Sardà)

Sweep (Egmont 2018) is a wonderful story about what can happen if you let a bad mood get the better of you. Ed and his bad mood sweep, sweep, sweep through the town until his emotions grow and gather so much pace the town is dark and Ed is tired and hungry.

In this poetic, uplifting story, Louise Greig and Júlia Sardà use a suitable visual metaphor to show readers what can happen when you try to sweep your troubles away.  Perfect for helping children learn to recognise and deal with big emotions.


BARBARA THROWS A WOBBLER (Nadia Shireen)

Barbara is the protagonist of Nadia Shireen’s Barbara Throws a Wobbler (Puffin 2021) who is having ‘one of those days!’ After a sock problem in the morning and a strange pea at lunchtime, her day goes from bad to worse, resulting in the appearance of a wobbler – a red, jelly-like cloud that emerges above Barbara’s head!

With patience, understanding and a dollop of humour, Barbara overcomes her wobbler, squishing it until she can hold it in her paw and POP! It vanishes! She’s goes back to the park where her friends are waiting, and where the reader is let into a secret. Everyone has wobblers from time to time.

Nadia’s playful, exaggerated illustrations convey the characters’ exasperation, hurt, and eventual delight at the newfound empowerment over her feelings. The humour is laugh out loud and perfect for the age group (and for adult readers, too!)


MY BIG SHOUTING DAY (Rebecca Patterson)

In My Big Shouting Day (Jonathon Cape, 2012), Bella’s day starts off badly. From then on, nothing seems to be right – broken biscuits, cold bath water… so she SHOUTS. This book is written in first person, and so Bella feels hugely authentic and relatable.

The tension and shouting escalate, leaving the reader wondering how Bella will ever snap out of her shouty mood. But grownups and children will be reassured that even the worst days can be made right with an apology. It’s a reassuring ending, reminding little ones prone to shouty days that your adults never stop loving you.


THE BIG ANGRY ROAR (Jonny Lambert)

The fun word play and collaged characters in The Big Angry Roar (Little Tiger, 2022) work in perfect collaboration for a little cub’s journey through the savannah as he finds a way to let out his anger. When Cub has sibling troubles, and gets so angry he thinks he might POP, he sets off to find a solution. But stamping and stomping and bashing and crashing only make him angrier. Through Jonny’s characterful illustrations and dynamic text, Cub learns that everyone gets angry and that’s ok, but it is important to find a way to let his anger out.

Cub’s solution feels expected initially – with deep breaths in and out – but ends with funny faces and giggles. Soon Cub feels much better and apologises to his sibling for a suitably heartfelt ending.


SOMETIMES I AM FURIOUS (Timothy Knapman, Joe Berger)

Sometimes I am Furious (Macmillan, 2021) is a picture book with a wonderful mix of heart and humour, perfectly pitched for the age group. The relatable main character with suitably exaggerated expressions, add to the fun and the witty verse. The scenes of the little girl being furious will definitely bring a smile to little readers’ faces, as well as the reasons for her bad mood.

With the support of an adult, the main character learns how to calm down, giving the reader some useful strategies to try too. There’s a very sweet and well-timed ending, detailing that the child still sometimes get mad… but with their new skills, now isn’t for quite as long!


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