Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns it's OK to Back Away

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns it's OK to Back Away

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by Howard Binkow

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School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A bunny has trouble managing his anger. He frequently acts impulsively and gets in trouble. His friend Ali teaches him to listen to his tummy to figure out if he's feeling scared, hungry, or irritated, and helps him practice techniques for defusing anger like counting, yelling on the playground, and engaging in physical activity. The story is followed by tips on recognizing and coping with anger. This is the fifth "Howard B. Wigglebottom" book from the We Do Listen Foundation, whose mission is "to help children enjoy inner peace and communicate in a more effective way." Unfortunately, the awkward text, heavily didactic storytelling, and condescending back matter make the lesson difficult to swallow. The illustrations are colorful but busy, and are dominated by unhappy and furious facial expressions. There are many, many picture books on the topic of anger management; libraries can afford to give this one a miss.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Product Details

Thunderbolt Publishing
Publication date:
Howard B. Wigglebottom Series
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns it's OK to Back Away 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DarlenesBookNook More than 1 year ago
I received this book for review from the author. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. I read this book aloud to my children. I love the name of the rabbit, Howard B. Wigglebottom. It's cute, it's funny, and accurately describes my kids who can't seem to sit still! Howard gets taken to the principal's office at school because he does the wrong things when he does not get his way. Even when he returns home, he is still in a time-out. Howard's friend, Ali, stops by. He asks her why she doesn't get angry, and she tells him that she does just like everyone else. She said that her tummy gets all tight when she doesn't get her way and that she tells herself to "Stop; it's OK to back away," before she does the wrong thing. Then, Ali goes out and does something to feel good again, such as; jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, yelling, or counting. With Ali's help, Howard learns to redirect his anger. We, too, do time-outs in our household for inappropriate behaviour and that includes when they are having a tantrum. The kids are more than welcome to rejoin the household once they have cooled off. I agree with the "back away" aspect of the book's lesson. In the suggestions for lessons and reflections at the back of the book, Binkow suggests listening to our tummies which might feel "tight or shaky or upset." That part of the lesson was a little hard for my kids to grasp, especially my 3 year-old. Speaking for myself, I don't generally get an upset tummy when I'm angry. Rather, my heart gets pumping and my face usually gets red! We see a different side of Howard in this book. In the previous one we read (Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows), we see Howard as more of a "hero." In this one, Ali is the "hero" and Howard is the one that needs her help. I love that Binkow shows the "give-and-take" of the friendship between Howard and Ali and that nobody (not even cute Howard B. Wigglebottom) is perfect! My kids really like Cornelison's illustrations. My 3 year-old especially got a kick out of seeing Howard's angry "Ninja Bunny" face. Overall, I really liked this book but not as much as the other Binkow book that we just read (Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows). One thing in particular that I really like about this series is that it stimulates further discussion with my kids *after* we have read the book. Any book that does that gets my thumbs-up! Although this is Book #5 of the series, each story is independent and can be read out of order. MY RATING: 4 stars!! We really liked this book and recommend it!