cover image Don’t Blow Your Top!

Don’t Blow Your Top!

Ame Dyckman, illus. by Abhi Alwar. Orchard, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-83784-1

A young volcano learns to manage potentially explosive emotions in this gratifying geological picture book with text by Dyckman. As pages open with a “beautiful day in Paradise,” heart- and animal-shaped smoke emanates from Big Volcano and Little Volcano. But when an errant bird accidentally drops an object on Little Volcano, the crater begins to boil with upset, inspiring Big Volcano to suggest calming strategies, including breathing, counting, and thinking happy thoughts. The protagonist is soon tested again, this time resulting in an explosion. “I blew my top,” the younger says with an expression of regret. “Sometimes it happens,” the elder generously reassures. Luckily, the third time’s the charm when yet more items arrive: “Bonk! Bonk! Bonk!” Vibrant colors saturate Alwar’s digital art, which expressively animates the story’s characters. Little Volcano’s tools for emotional regulation offer readers simple and memorable skills for moments when they might feel themselves getting hot-tempered. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)