The Big Scream (Kirsti Call)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Big Scream, written by Kirsti Call and illustrated by Denis Angelov, a lesson in processing anger for little readers.

Written primarily in short, eight-syllable couplets, this board book for young bookworms follows a child through an emotional reaction that most kids – and their parents – are likely familiar with. After being denied additional cookies, the little one in the story feels the tears start to pool, then explodes in a toy-throwing, ground-kicking, and big-screaming tantrum. Placed in time-out for their outburst, the child has time to take a few deep breaths, count to ten, and cuddle a toy, after which they are able to calmly mend fences with their adult caregiver.

A great introductory lesson in managing feelings. Call’s simple rhyming text flows well, allowing very young audiences to follow the short story, and Angelov’s clean design and expressive illustrations create evocative (yet not overwhelming) representations of the main character’s progression of emotions. Something I liked best was that the tantrum itself is carefully worded and depicted to impress upon readers that having the occasional emotional outburst is normal, which, it is! Sometimes big feelings (especially in small people) can overload our systems, and that’s okay; it’s how we handle the aftermath with responsibility and empathy that matters, and this book definitely conveyed that. The length is perfect for the very youngest bookworms, and JJ really enjoyed this one. A great way to talk about tantrums with your own kiddos, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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