Allie All Along (Sarah Lynne Reul)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul, a tale of a big brother helping his little sister with her emotions.

When Allie’s crayon broke during coloring time, she became – quite suddenly – and furry red ball of rage. After screaming, shouting, and letting it out-ing, the Allie-monster sheds her layer of red fur, revealing a smaller orange monster inside. From there, big brother attempts to help, giving Allie ways to deal with her anger – hugging her favorite toy as hard as she can, taking a deep breath and blowing out pretend candle, etc. Each activity helps Allie feel a little better, and shed another layer of fur: orange to green, green to blue. At last, Allie and her brother have worked to calm her feelings, and the real Allie – a regular little girl – emerges from the last monster layer, requesting a hug.

A very interesting take on runaway emotions. I loved the practical ways of helping oneself or others calm down, which are always great for both kids and parents to have in their back pockets. And the metaphor for different levels of anger is both clever and cute – the rage monsters never really appear scary, but more a manifestation of those all-too-familiar tantrums (it should be noted when discussing with kids, monstrous tantrums like that may be appropriate for little ones, but are not acceptable for adults). The illustrations are colorful and thoughtful, and JJ loved watching the monster change. It might have helped to have an earlier indication that there was a little girl underneath all that anger – JJ seemed confused by that – but otherwise we really enjoyed it. A nice book for little readers’ emotional toolkits, and Baby Bookworm approved!

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