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Finn Throws a Fit!

Finn Throws a Fit!

5.0 1
by David Elliott, Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator)

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Who among us hasn't encountered that force of nature called "a fit"? A best-selling author and illustrator depict a toddler's tantrum in all its horror and hilarity.


Who among us hasn't encountered that force of nature called "a fit"? A best-selling author and illustrator depict a toddler's tantrum in all its horror and hilarity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Droll text and exuberant illustrations render a toddler's tantrum in all its magnificence. “Finn likes peaches. Usually,” the book opens, as tiny egg-shaped Finn sits on a chair, dangling his yellow boots and holding his peach. “But today, Finn doesn't like peaches. Today, Finn doesn't like anything.” Finn's parents attempt to placate him as he glowers; his mother, kneeling, proffers peaches, his father holds out toys—even the dog grins. No dice. Finn's tantrum roils the house (“Tidal waves sweep through the living room. Hurricanes rage in the dining room”) until, suddenly, it's over (“It lasts until it doesn't”). Elliott (On the Farm) and Ering (The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone) operate like the left and right hands of a single comic mind; each tongue-in-cheek line of text is deftly countered with raw charcoal scrawls, wild strokes of paint and crazed scribbles. Small readers will giggle at the realization of their angry feelings—complete with rippling lengths of toilet paper, floods of tears and flying crockery—while parents will blanch at the brilliant exposition of the power their children hold over them. Ages 2–4. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Today Finn, who usually likes peaches, does not like anything. And when Finn is cranky, "anything can happen." A few brief words per double page are enough to explain what does happen: thunder in the nursery, lightning in the kitchen, as Finn throws a FIT! His tears flood the house; his kicks shake the world, sending a tidal wave through the living room; there are hurricanes and blizzards as the FIT continues. "It lasts until it doesn't," as youngster's fits often do. Finn has run out of steam. Everything returns to normal, and a loving Finn "would like those peaches now. Please." Adults will recognize with smiles the tantrums that overcome even the best youngster. Perhaps young readers can also smile at this exaggerated reflection of behavior they may recognize. At the beginning, young Finn faces us with a smile, but next he appears wrapped in his blanket and scowling at his doting parents. Ering uses charcoal, oil paint, and grease pencil for the sketchy, cartoony characters, and graphic symbols like jagged lines or dark clouds rather than speech balloons to express Finn's emotions. The double pages can barely contain the violence of his feelings until he arrives on a single page, smiling amid flowers, and returns to his lovable self, to his parents' delight. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Anyone who has ever had a bad day will recognize this scenario. After his mother makes the innocent mistake of asking her son if he would like some peaches, she watches as his mood goes from cranky to downright earthshaking. The illustrations, done in a messy mix of charcoal, oil paint, and grease pencil, capture the angry energy of the tantrum. Similar to David Shannon's "David" books (Scholastic), Finn is less mischievous and more prone to meltdowns. Overall, the book is fun and captures the essence of a cranky toddler whose moods can change as fast as the weather.—Kate Neff, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL
Kirkus Reviews
To say that Finn, a blue-shirted, yellow-booted tot with more than a passing resemblance to Humpty-Dumpty, is out of sorts is to severely understate the case. When his mother offers him his usual plate of peach slices-the very idea!-he throws the mother of all fits: There's "Thunder in the nursery! / Lightning in the kitchen!" and so on. Elliott spins out the climatic metaphors for Finn's tantrum up to and including a blizzard, the emotional weather so severe that the family's little white dog flees the house entirely. Ering, always atmospheric, goes happily nuts with the premise, his mixed-media-charcoal, oils and grease pencil-illustrations almost palpably three-dimensional in their wind-blown vigor. If Finn's fit is impressive, its aftermath is equally effective: The little boy sits, collapsed, on the floor, exhaling his last puff of anger before he decides that he'd "like those peaches now. / Please." While likening a child's tantrums to a severe storm is apt enough from an adult perspective, it may be too conceptually remote for little ones, for whom When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry may still ring the most emotionally true. (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

David Elliott is the author of the New York Times best-selling picture book AND HERE'S TO YOU!, illustrated by Randy Cecil, and ON THE FARM, illustrated by Holly Meade. He lives in Warner, New Hampshire.

Timothy Basil Ering is the illustrator of the Newbery Medal-winning THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo and the author-illustrator of THE STORY OF FROG BELLY RAT BONE and NECKS OUT FOR ADVENTURE! He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Finn Throws a Fit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
book4children More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud at the end of this book! Fin is the fictional version of one of my kids. The author captured a toddler's fit in all it's glory. The illustrations are half of what make the book so great. I love them.