Early Book Review: Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts: A Book About Anger by Ian De Haes

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts: A Book About Anger by Ian De Haes is a children's book currently scheduled for release on April 26 2018. When Simon gets mad, he gets REALLY mad. So mad that big, bad, angry beasts appear. At first Simon loves having the beasts around to help scare off anyone who upsets him, but over time he realizes that no one wants to be around him or the beasts. This makes Simon sad, so he decides to try to still his mind and practice being calm. And the beasts disappear!

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts is a book that offers children, teachers, parents, and other caregivers tools and language to talk about and deal with anger. On the surface the book is colorful and relatable, a story about a child that has used his anger to get his way, and enjoyed the release kicking and screaming could give. However, he discovers that the beast and behavior his anger brings out has made others avoid him. Simon needs to learn to cope with and express him anger in better ways. I like the imagery of the beasts to represent Simon's anger and the resulting behavior, and I loved the information and tools at the end of the book for the adults helping a child to cope with emotions. I loved the artwork, and think it will capture the attention and imagination of young readers. I think for a majority of children this book will be a helpful lesson. However, there are those with additional challenges to facing anger appropriately, and I was a little disappointed that there was no mention that some children (and adults) need more than awareness and mindfulness to deal with anger because of chemical imbalances or other issues. Unfortunately, while great tools for everyone to help, it is not the ultimate solution for everyone and that is not mentioned in the endpapers, at least not that I noticed in the advanced copy I read.

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