cover image Sometimes I Am Furious

Sometimes I Am Furious

Timothy Knapman, illus. by Joe Berger. Penguin Workshop, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-5935-2105-2

As cartoon art shows the tan-skinned, redheaded child narrator of this picture book sharing cookies with another child and helping their interracial parents with the dishes, readers are assured that “sometimes I’m a princess who is thoughtful, brave, and sweet.// Sometimes I’m the kindest fairy you could hope to meet.” But there are times when things don’t go the child’s way, and the response is full-fledged fury: “And sometimes I am furious.” Various events result in the child engaging in frustrated behaviors as they rail against the world (“I don’t want THIS!/ It’s just NO GOOD!”), then collapse into a tearful heap. Previous collaborators Knapman and Berger (Superhero Mom) offer standard self-regulation advice by way of their young exemplar: seek out an empathic adult (in this case, Grandma), and try some grounding exercises (“I take deep breaths./ I count to ten./ I sing my happy song”). While 24-7 equilibrium may not be possible, the creators suggest that knowing it’s within reach can be a big comfort. Or, as the narrator puts it: “And now when I am// FURIOUS!// It’s not for very long.” Ages 3–5. (June)