Friday, December 14, 2018

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

When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry...
by Molly Bang
Date: 1999
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 36
Format: e-book
Source: library

"Oh is Sophie ever angry now!"

Everybody gets angry sometimes. For children, anger can be very upsetting. Parents, teachers, and children can talk about it. People do lots of different things when they get angry. In this Caldecott-honor book, kids will see what Sophie does when she gets angry. What do you do?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I can't believe this won awards. Aside from the extremely unpleasant illustrations, I thought it sent a terrible message. Do we really want children running alone into the woods and climbing a tall tree every time they get angry? Plus, in an era where elopement is a problem with autistic kids who get overwhelmed, I don't think encouraging children to potentially get themselves lost in the woods is a great idea. (The fact that Sophie's sister is later seen playing with a bunch of puzzle pieces--the symbol for autism awareness--seems a bit ironic.) Even more disturbing is the fact that nobody bothers to go looking for her. She just goes home after she's cooled off, and everyone's happy to see her. But... what if she'd fallen out of that tree and broken her neck?

It's fine to teach kids to have an outlet for their anger, but there are better coping skills that won't put their lives in danger. I can't even recommend this for the illustrations. They're colourful, but they're rough and kind of garish.

This might have worked in another decade (and, in fact, it was written in the late 1990s), but it's a bit problematic for today. For books about kids getting angry, I'd recommend Sam's Pet Temper by Sangeeta Bhadra instead.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 1/5
Illustrations: 1/5
Originality: 1/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1 out of 5

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