New Review Tuesday: Mouse Was Mad
The wonderful thing about picture books dealing with anger and other difficult emotions is that they offer kids such a relatable experience to their own lives, and usually a way of coping with those emotions as well.
In Mouse Was Mad, by Linda Urban, illustrated by Henry Cole, Mouse tries to hop, stomp, scream, and roll around through his anger, but those are the strategies used by other animals (Hare hops, Bear stomps, Bobcat screams, and Hedgehog rolls), and they just don't work for poor Mouse. It's only when Mouse stumbles on his own coping mechanism—standing very, very still—that he begins to feel better.
Students in grades K–3 will no doubt have sympathy for Mouse, but also laugh out loud at Henry Cole's illustrations, which show Mouse falling into mud puddle after mud puddle after each unsuccessful attempt at dealing with his anger.
Urban, author of last year's charming middle-grade novel A Crooked Kind of Perfect, has found a unique lens into a universal problem, offering a surprising resolution that readers may just want to try out themselves!
Read Mouse Was Mad along with Molly Bang's fantastic When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry, Lisa Jahn-Clough's Alicia Has a Bad Day, Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and even Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
Compare and contrast Mouse's actions with the actions of the main characters in the other stories and make a list of the different ways they end up feeling better. Which are ways that kids might use when they're feeling grumpy?
Did I miss your favorite picture book about anger? Share in the comments.