Reviews /

Sometimes I Am Furious

Authored by Timothy Knapman
Illustrated by Joe Berger
Published by Pan Macmillan

Tagged , , ,

We all know how life can be very unfair sometimes and nobody more so than a toddler or child in the middle of a tantrum! This bright, bold picture book shows children that our moods can change quickly from feeling happy and content to feelings of fury. It explores how being angry can make our bodies react (crying, screaming and shouting) as well as how we feel afterwards and calming strategies.

In this book, our protagonist explains to the reader that she has a sunny, friendly personality most of the time. However, there are things that can make her feel furious at the drop of a hat: dropping an ice-cream; wanting to go on a scooter which is too large; and leggings being too small. Young readers will see how these feelings of frustration, anger and sadness happen to lots of people. It is also shown how, after a tantrum, we may feel sad and need a cuddle. With kindness and care, others can help us recognise and regulate our emotions. I liked that feelings of fury are not brushed aside and the protagonist still experiences these feelings at the end of the story – she just learns to manage them more effectively.

Featuring on the 2023 Empathy Lab collection, Sometimes I Am Furious is a modern ‘feelings’ book. It isn’t just the protagonist though that we empathise with; through the illustrations, we understand how the surrounding adults feel when the child is in the throes of a tantrum. The adult who eventually pulls the protagonist in for a cuddle shows real empathy: it’s so easy for adults to forget that children are learning to manage big emotions which are often new to them. A triumph of a book for Early Years and KS1 – I imagine it will hold a welcome place in many bedrooms and classrooms for shared moments of reflection.

Empathy Collection 2023

This collection is available from our bookselling partner Best Books for Schools