Ian De Haes
Flyaway Books, 40 pages
Anger is spewing out everywhere these days. Actually, rage – which is a notch higher – is surging throughout the world. Rage is destroying lives and local communities, especially when guns are involved. As someone said after the recent killing in Annapolis, Maryland: “It used to be when you were upset with a news opinion, you write a letter to the editor. Now you shoot the journalist.” This children’s book explores the roots of anger and the consequences for young Simon. As with all anger, Simon revels in the fury of it (wild animals appear!) until he realizes that all his relationships have been terribly damaged. Simon’s struggle with anger is beautifully illustrated, while the author is careful to name the causes of his rage. Any parent will recognize what is happening in Simon’s life. What’s often great about a children’s book is the window it provides into adult experience. (Full disclosure: My daughters are older now, and I miss children’s books.) Given the surge in anger right now, this seems to be a perfect book for children and parents. What makes this title exceptional is a section that provides strategies for teachers and parents to use at home and in the classroom. The adults need books like this, but until they come, read this one. You will be glad you did. If you are a parent, read this to your child and talk about the ways anger can be contained. In truth, lives depend on such conversations.