SOMETIMES I'M BOMBALOO

Rachel Vail, Author, Yumi Heo, Illustrator , illus. by Yumi Heo. Scholastic $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-08755-1

Emotions bubble over in this wise picture book about how a child deals with anger. Katie Honors is a self-described "really good kid," generally obedient, kind and conscientious. But occasionally her baby brother's penchant for wrecking her building-block castles sends Katie over the edge: "Sometimes I'm Bombaloo," she explains about her furious alter ego. "I show my teeth and make fierce noises.... I use my feet and my fists instead of my words.... I want to smash stuff." Obliged to "take some time for myself and think about it," Katie calms down and realizes, "I'm sorry and a little frightened." Vail (Over the Moon; the Friendship Ring series) speaks knowingly to both young children and parents, emphasizing love and patience. Her kid-friendly phrasing and language add immediacy and some humor to the proceedings. Much like Betsy Everitt's Mean Soup, this book's message—that it's normal, if scary, to lose control sometimes—is clear, and emphasized in a most satisfying way. Heo's (Father's Rubber Shoes) highly patterned mixed-media illustrations, alternately warm and perky, use vibrant backgrounds, blocks of color and carefully chosen images to depict Katie's emotional tornado. Memorable scenes include Katie seated against a stark black background during her time-out, and an up-close view of her in the throes of a Bombaloo moment. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2001
Release date: 03/01/2002
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FORMATS
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-0-439-08756-8
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-439-66941-2
Prebound-Other - 32 pages - 978-0-606-33287-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-3824-3
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