Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
This pictorial volume seems to promise peaceful coexistence, but its loosely connected chapters instead offer scenes of deliberate disagreement. An earthworm and beetle compete to see who is angrier. A stubborn elephant, bruised after falling from a tree, speaks in two contradictory voices, urging himself to climb and berating himself when he does ("You're a lost cause," he snarls, in an overlong and troubling internal dialogue). A contented hedgehog seeks a way to get upset, and a placid red squirrel tolerates others' petty behavior. The title story describes a tranquil summer day when "No one seemed to know what to feel." When the rhinoceros uses "angry words.... everyone began to cheer. Anger was back." Tellegen (The Squirrel's Birthday) meditates on the ways we provoke and sustain negativity, while Boutavant (Around the World with Mouk) pictures the woodland in a grainy, lithographic style. The narratives are absurd, perplexing, and sad, even though Tellegen aims for the comic by imagining what might happen if we sought anger the way we seek happiness. All told, these stories argue that anger is unavoidable and even salutary. Ages 7-up. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-5-Handsomely produced on thick paper with full-color, expressive illustrations by the popular Parisian illustrator, cartoonist, and graphic artist, this collection of 12 stories is billed as being "funny" and "philosophical," showing that "anger-in all its shapes and sizes-is essential, spirited, and often hilarious." A hyrax is frustrated and angry every evening when the sun sets, despite his yelling until he is hoarse, "Don't set!" A determined elephant attempts to climb a tree even though an inner voice discourages him. He almost reaches the top but trips and falls. "I'm a lost cause," he admits to himself as an enormous bump appears on the back of his head. An earthworm and a beetle argue over which of them is angrier. From his suitcase, a lobster shows a mouse all of the different types of anger he has for sale-from mild irritation to jealousy and fury. The mouse decides to purchase the light blue, transparent melancholy instead. A shrew unsuccessfully tries to make his friend squirrel angry. Ant suggests all sorts of ways that toad can get rid of his anger-blow it away, crush it, forget about it, swallow it, hide it, sing it away, laugh it off, or nurse it. And, when the day comes when all traces of anger seem to have disappeared, the animals don't know what to do and the ant "fears the worst." But when a cricket accidentally kicks Rhinoceros's knee, angry words return and "everyone went home promising themselves a good bout of anger that night." This is not the way that typical American picture books have explored anger for children, and much of the subtle humor and emotional truths will be elusive to them, even with adult intervention. VERDICT More age-appropriate picture books that address the topic are Rachel Vail's Sometimes I'm Bombaloo (Scholastic, 2002), Linda Urban's Mouse Was Mad (HMH, 2009), and Molly Bang's When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry (Scholastic, 1999).-Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
This New Zealand import features twelve stories about anger: a hyrax yells at the sun not to set; an elephant reprimands himself for climbing a tree--while climbing; a beetle teaches a cricket "how to get angry." Narrative structure and handsome, vintage-looking illustrations evoke old fables, but these vignettes lack lessons beyond a vague celebration of anger for its own sake. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Dutch writer Tellegen explores the psychology of anger in 12 vignettes featuring a society of animals.In short, dialogue-rich tales, animals grapple with anger's many manifestations, struggling to understand its presence and absence. The hyrax rants at the sun for setting nightly, his anger so deep that it lasts all through sun-drenched days. A lobster with a suitcase full of the "right kind of anger" visits a mouse, revealing everything from a mild red anger to a "white fury." The mouse spies a light blue melancholy and drapes it, scarflike, over his shoulders, sighing over a lovely summer day. In a particularly poignant tale, an ant schools a toad in the many ways to banish anger. Eventually deciding to "throw it away," they "[share] some sweet dried nettles and [talk] about happiness, which, according to the ant, you never have to do anything about." Is anger a necessary emotion? A well-versed beetle teaches a cricket how to locate his anger, and the last, titular story portrays the animals' odd disequilibrium on a day devoid of ire. On thick, creamy pages, Boutavant's charming pictures evoke the mid-20th-century illustrations of Feodor Rojankovsky and Roger Duvoisin and invite close scrutiny. (One quibble: Where gender's specified, it's male.) Pleasantly lacking moral-mongering, this fresh collection will appeal to parents and children who enjoy sharing stories as springboards to discussion and speculation. (table of contentsin the backmatter) (Short stories. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.