Sometimes it’s hard to be little—at least it is for Ravi one day when he goes with his family to a park. He loses the race to the train, can’t find anyone during hide-and-seek, is too small to use the playground equipment or ride the big slide. To make matters worse, by the time it’s his turn for ice cream there’s none left. Ravi’s anger builds as he encounters one frustration after another in his increasingly red face and surrounding anger cloud, but no ice cream is the last straw and he explodes into a little tiger who goes on a wild rampage, brooking no opposition to his will until he realizes that no one wants to play with him as a tiger and he apologizes for his poor behavior. (“‘I’m sorry . . . ,’ said the tiger in a quiet voice, and when he said that, everything felt better.”) While the book is meant to help kids understand that feelings are normal, but that it doesn’t feel good to be angry, the story itself doesn’t demonstrate how to proactively manage anger and suggesting that simply apologizing after your outburst makes everything better—an important but not lasting solution, as hinted at by Ravi’s improvement in the future. The illustrations are delightful, with personable characters and a striking use of the juxtaposition between the gray of the backgrounds and the bright colors surrounding Ravi and his family—a subtle reminder of where an individual’s focus often lies.
Tom Percival is the author and illustrator of the picture books Ruby Finds a Worry, Perfectly Norman, Herman’s Letter, Herman’s Vacation, and Bubble Trouble. He is also the author of Goat’s Coat. He writes and illustrates picture books in his native United Kingdom, where he lives in a town called Stroud with his family. www.tom-percival.com
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