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

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

Author: Molly Bang

Recommended for Ages: 3-5 years 

About: A brightly illustrated book about dealing with frustration and anger.

Author Molly Bang takes us along on Sophie's journey as she deals with her feelings of anger and sadness. In the story, Sophie is playing with her gorilla when her sister takes it right out of her hands and says "my turn." Sophie's mother orders Sophie to let her sister have a turn. To make matters worse, she falls over a toy truck as the gorilla is snatched from her grasp. As you can imagine, Sophie gets angry, really, really angry.

There are three things that I love most about this book. The first is that it is a short read only 31 pages with about with an average of 10 words per page. Which, as we know from working with preschoolers, is just enough to keep their attention? The rest of the book is filled with my second favorite thing, bright vibrant detailed pictures. Not only do the pictures illustrate her feelings through facial expressions and body language, but the colors follow a pattern of emotions. For example, when she is going through the state of frustration the pages are bursting with colors of red, orange and yellow. As she begins to find a calmer safe place to be alone in nature, the colors change in the story with her mood to a cool, blue and green tone. Lastly, the story is a great way to open the doors of communication about feelings for educators and parents with little ones. Sophie chooses to walk away and be alone to self-regulate. Adults can use this book to discuss the many coping skills that children can practice when dealing with big feelings.

I have used this story in my consultation work to explore with children self-regulation techniques such as, taking a deep breath, walking away to a quiet spot to be alone and drawing a picture as a way to working through tough feelings. I have also used the colors in the story to help preschoolers connect their own feelings to colors such as red hot mad or cool green calm.

Overall, I feel that educators and parents of preschoolers will find this classic story one that they can enjoy with their preschoolers. Whether it is used to discuss feeling, talk about coping skills or just to enjoy the bright colors and bond while reading a great book together.

Reviewer: Marci Arroyo, MS
Early Childhood Consultant
Early Childhood Consultation Partnership