Sunday, May 15, 2011

When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry... By Molly Bang (1999)

    Oh how I love this book! I came across it while in my children's literature class last year and I finally got my own copy in an effort to expand my children's book library with a variety of stories. This book is equipped with two awards. It is a Caldecott Honor Book (2000) and it also has the Charlotte Zolotown Award (2000) (which is awarded to one picture book every year from a committee at University of Wisconsin). This is a great book to share with children or adults alike to help them deal with issues of anger and can I just say that I don't think this is only a book that should be brought out when somebody is angry but it should definitely be read when at any given time. Children need to know about how to deal with their anger before it happens, while it's happening and after it has happened.
     Sophie is playing with her stuffed gorilla when her sister decides to snatch it out of Sophie's hands. Then her mother insists that it "is" her sister's turn now which takes Sophie over the edge. Warm colors start to fill the pages as Sophie's anger rises. "Sophie is a volcano, ready to explode-". Then Sophie decides to run outside, she runs until she cannot run any more. Sophie begins to cry, then she comes to the old beech tree and chooses to climb it. The colors on the pages become more cool, more relaxed, and less angry. She watches the water and the breeze blows her hair. "The wide world comforts her". Sophie returns home and "EVERYTHING'S BACK TOGETHER AGAIN". 
      My favorite aspect of this book is the illustrations. Not only the pictures but also the words are presented in such a powerful manner.  The colors come full circle and lead you through the cycle of anger that Sophie is experiencing. I think this book is so well thought out. For instance, when Sophie arrives home there is a welcome mat by the door because everyone is glad she's home, her father is reading a magazine titled seeds which connects to the story since nature is what cooled Sophie off, and her sister is working on a puzzle and at this point the story has been put together.
     This story reminds me a lot of The Red Tree by Shaun Tan which was read to my language arts class last semester. The Red Tree also uses powerful images to capture the emotions and feelings of a little girl. I don't want to share too much about this book because I hope to do a separate post on it once I obtain a copy, which unfortunately isn't as easy as going to the book store and picking one up.
     I commend Molly Bang for creating this masterpiece of a book. These types of issues need to be discussed and I think books are an incredible way to do so. I believe a book is full of discovery and there is an endless amount of places, people, feelings, and events to experience through the pages.

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