From the Publisher
“Anger is like a howling baby, suffering and crying. This book shows children and parents how practicing mindful breathing can help us soothe and gently transform our strong emotions.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
"One of the best books we've ever seen on the issue of dealing with anger...Getting angry is normal. The question is how do you deal with your anger. In this incredible story, Anh gets really angry and gets sent to his room to 'sit with' his anger. Anh not only sits with his anger, he chats, dances, and plays with his anger. This story is simply amazing, healthy, beautiful...a gem."
"Promotes deep breathing as the ideal way to regain control during a tantrum."
The New Yorker
"Lively and engaging."
"The pictures are absolutely darling. I knew that devil would be cute. It's a real winner!”
Pamela McKay, children’s book librarian, Contra Costa County, CA
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
With paper and silk collage that is sometimes delicate backdrop, and sometimes stark counterpoint, to the pencil and brush drawings of the main character, Anh, this book personifies his anger, aroused at being interrupted by his grandfather while Anh is building a tower of blocks. While the anger materializes rather suddenly, its rendering as a red creature with jagged teeth and ragged, hairy edges is both startling and curiously charming. More, it makes the clear yet understated point that the summoning of the anger was Anh's doing. The turning point comes in a perfect marriage of picture and words, with Anh sitting cross-legged and with his eyes closed, and the anger visibly shrinking, to text that says simply, "And they sat some more." The next spread manifests a touch of authorial handling, but only a touch. By the time Grandfather returns to the room, the anger is reduced to smudgy flower-like colors, evocative of the story Grandfather's telling about the circumstances in which he met with his own anger long ago. In the final wordless spread, a lovely choice with which to end the story, anger is nowhere to be seen. There is much that is at once quirky and tender in this book, with its gentle nudge toward mindfulness and the Buddhist meditative practice of Thich Nhat Hanh. It certainly raises the bar for books intended for use by adults working with children. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—This story, based on the teachings of Buddha, is similar to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (Harper & Row, 1963) in its trajectory, but anger is personified by a single wild creature. Sent to his room just before dinner for losing control, Anh is told by Grandfather to sit with his anger. "I'll come in when you're calm," he says. Alone, the five-year-old discovers the embodiment of his emotion in the form of a fuchsia-legged, red-faced, green-tongued monster. The child questions the creature about how it appeared. "Don't worry, Anh, I'm not a stranger. I'm the part of you that comes out when things don't go your way." They dance together, and then Anh sits and breathes, and quiets himself. A brief introduction to meditation is given: "With each in-breath, Anh's anger got a little bit smaller and with each out-breath, Anh felt a little better." In the resolution, Grandfather responds to the boy's apology simply by accepting him: "Thank you for your kind words." The mixed-media artwork includes paper and silk collages with realistic brush and pencil drawings of a child and his grandfather. With the guidance of loving adults, this gentle book may help children to acknowledge, accept, and work through their anger.—Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA