4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever experienced moments of episodic anger? Have you ever searched for a straightforward approach that might help kids learn how to harness their pesky feelings of aggressive agitation? My Grouch and Me is a succinct children’s tale that briefly explores the concept of emotional self-control. This book was written by Kelly H. Clement, and it was illustrated by her niece, Haley Clement Cross.
The plot is centered around a little boy in a bad mood. His “grouchiness” is represented by a green dragon who screams, yells, stomps his feet, slams doors, rolls his eyes, and even stares back at the little boy in the mirror as he’s brushing his teeth. As these two entities face a day side by side, the boy must determine how to get his grouch under control. The little boy suddenly has a lightbulb moment of clarity and decides to use his “happy net” to literally catch and subdue his unruly tantrums. The net metaphorically contains positive items like colors, books, friends, vacations, and sunshine. Will he be able to successfully redirect his frustrated anxiety? Will his directed attempts ultimately result in a positive outcome?
The moral of the story is to never fear the inevitable. We all have occasional bad moods, but they are generally temporary, transient, and easily manageable with various coping strategies. Needless to say, there are some children with volatile personalities who will unavoidably require additional guidance at a professional level, but for most households and scenarios, this book presents applicable emotional-processing concepts and techniques.
What I enjoyed the most were the simple but whimsical illustrations that appeared because they authentically depicted the descriptive text. Smiling children of both genders were represented, and the dragon illustrations were not overly frightening. I found the rhyming rhetoric to be musically delightful, and I think it would thoroughly entertain young minds! I did encounter a few errors while reading, but they were primarily limited to minor instances of missing punctuation. That was truly the only aspect of this book that I did not love.
Due to the concise length and simple terminology, I feel this book would be appropriate for children between the ages of three and six. I award this creative anger-management book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The storyline believably promotes the importance of listening and understanding, and it encourages kids to be self-aware and accepting.
My Grouch and Me
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