cover image When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry

When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry

Molly Bang. Blue Sky Press (AZ), $17.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-18979-8

Raw zigzags of color convey a girl's rage in this compassionate volume, which proposes a cure for anger. Sophie's temper flares when her sister demands a turn playing with a favorite stuffed gorilla. Matters worsen when Sophie's mother passes judgment (""It is her turn now, Sophie"") and Sophie trips over a toy truck in the resulting tug-of-war. Infernal shades of orange, yellow and red liken Sophie to a shuddering volcano; a gray cat with jagged fur wisely gets out of her way. With the ""PABAM!"" of a slammed door, the girl races outside. ""She runs and runs and runs until she can't run anymore. Then, for a little while, she cries."" Gradually, a calmer Sophie begins noticing birds and ferns. When she returns home, relaxed again, her sister has abandoned the gorilla in favor of a tabletop puzzle. With minimal text, Bang (Common Ground; Ten, Nine Eight) gives a realistic account of embattled siblings and prescribes self-imposed solitude. Edgy illustrations with roilingly patterned foreground shapes and looming, dark backgrounds convey Sophie's inner violence; in particular, a quiet image of a ghostly gray beech against a midnight-blue sky is reminiscent of Van Gogh's Japanese-print-inspired scenes. Bang's evocatively illustrated book suggests no quick fixes; she treats childhood emotions with respect. Ages 2-7. (Mar.)