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When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry… (Scholastic Bookshelf) Paperback – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Raw zigzags of color convey a girl's rage in this compassionate volume, which proposes a cure for anger. Sophie's temper flares when her sister demands a turn playing with a favorite stuffed gorilla. Matters worsen when Sophie's mother passes judgment ("It is her turn now, Sophie") and Sophie trips over a toy truck in the resulting tug-of-war. Infernal shades of orange, yellow and red liken Sophie to a shuddering volcano; a gray cat with jagged fur wisely gets out of her way. With the "PABAM!" of a slammed door, the girl races outside. "She runs and runs and runs until she can't run anymore. Then, for a little while, she cries." Gradually, a calmer Sophie begins noticing birds and ferns. When she returns home, relaxed again, her sister has abandoned the gorilla in favor of a tabletop puzzle. With minimal text, Bang (Common Ground; Ten, Nine Eight) gives a realistic account of embattled siblings and prescribes self-imposed solitude. Edgy illustrations with roilingly patterned foreground shapes and looming, dark backgrounds convey Sophie's inner violence; in particular, a quiet image of a ghostly gray beech against a midnight-blue sky is reminiscent of Van Gogh's Japanese-print-inspired scenes. Bang's evocatively illustrated book suggests no quick fixes; she treats childhood emotions with respect. Ages 2-7.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Sophie is playing with her stuffed gorilla when her sister wrests it from her, knocking her to the floor. When their mother agrees that it is her sister's turn to play with the toy, Sophie becomes so angry that "She wants to smash the world to smithereens." She kicks, screams, and eventually runs into the woods where she climbs a huge beech tree, looks out over the water, and is comforted by the "wide world." Calm, she returns home ready to participate in family life. The text is appropriately brief, for it is Bang's double-page illustrations, vibrating with saturated colors, that reveal the drama of the child's emotions. Floorboards slant diagonally across two pages, echoing the agitation of the siblings as they engage in a tug of war. A close-up of Sophie's face with blue eyes blazing and pigtails flying is set against a fire-red background. Bang gives the ranting girl a huge red shadow. On the next spread, Sophie releases a "ROAR" so enormous that she seems to shrink off the page. The trees, outlined in bright red, mimic the girl's anger, then bow down as she passes by stooped and weeping, and finally sport bright-green outlines as she returns home cheered and hopeful. Sophie, like a missing piece, rejoins her family as the puzzle they are working on is completed. Pair this excellent story with Dorothea Lachner's Andrew's Angry Words (North-South, 1995).
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Scholastic Bookshelf
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439598451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439598453
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Molly Bang is an award winning children's book illustrator and author. Her
works include 3 Caldecott Honor Books: Ten, Nine, Eight, The Grey Lady and the
Strawberry Snatcher, and When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry, which
also won a Jane Addams Honor Award and the Arbuthnot Award. The Paper Crane
won the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award in 1987; Goose won the School of Library
Journal Best Book of 1996 and another work, Common Ground: The Water, Earth,
and Air We Share, won the prestigious Giverny Book Award in 1998 for the best
children's science picture book. Her latest book, My Light, is an ALA Notable

Her only work for adults is Picture This, which shows how an understanding of
the most basic principles enable a person to build powerful pictures. It is
used by art and graphic departments in colleges around the country.

Bang received her bachelor degree from Wellesley in French, and Masters in
Far Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona and at Harvard. She has also
worked as a reporter; as an educator for public health projects in Bangladesh
and in Mali, West Africa, incorporating information on maternal and child
health into stories; and as a teacher in colleges.

Customer Reviews

Bang has written and illustrated many other award winning books and her stories and pictures are loved by many.
This book is really great to use when discussing how to deal with your feelings with your child or a group of children.
Sarah Clinkenbeard
Poor little Sophie gets angered to begin with because she was playing with a toy which her sister grabbed from her.
The Gal Who Knows LOL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is one of our absolute favorite books. I have given it as a gift to many friends upon the birth of a sibling or a sad family event such as parental separation. It's so important for children to know that anger itself is OK and that there are appropriate ways to defuse it that don't hurt others. Even as adults we can use the visually compelling reminders that physical exertion, time alone and being in nature can help to soothe angry or hurt feelings. As for the fact that Sophie runs out of the house, I have only two comments: (1) children, especially small ones, are probably better able than adults to grasp metaphor (my children have read this book hundreds of times and never attempted to leave the house alone); (2) Sophie is a big girl living in a safe seaside area and is apparently quite well able to handle leaving the house alone. We should all be so lucky. Completely agree with one reviewer's observation that the change in colors in the book, particularly in the outlines of trees and figures, is a wonderful way of reinforcing the message that feelings can change and become manageable. One of my all-time favorites!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My 3-year-old is a very sensitive little girl who is scared of her own anger and scared when my 5-year-old throws tantrums. She absolutely loves Sophie, and loves seeing how it is possible that Sophie can get angry and then calm down and come back, and the family still loves her, she's still okay, and she can go back to being happy again. We received this for Christmas, and my daughter has made us read it to her every single night. She tells me she wishes she had a tree to run to. I think it's a wonderful book, and I think that children should be free to express the full range of emotions, including anger. This book certainly makes it seem normal and reassures children that it's okay to be angry sometimes.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When Sophie Gets Angry-Really Really Angry... by Molly Bang, is a picture book about a little girl named Sophie who becomes angry with her sister for trying to play with the stuffed gorilla that she wants to play with. When Sophie gets angry at her sister, she runs away from her house and climbs a big beech tree where she watches the waves and lets the calm breeze comfort her. When she feels better she climbs down and goes happily back home. The illustrations in this book are drawn in a way as to reflect her mood at that time. They are not drawn with fine lines and a lot of detail. They have wide outlines and vibrant color. In a way, they look as if they were made by a child using crayons or finger paints. They start out, before Sophie becomes angry, with more calm colors such as green. When she begins to get mad at her sister the background changes from green to hot pink and when she is at the peak of her anger, the background changes to bright red to symbolize her anger. Sophie's anger also changes the sizes, proportions, and perspective of the pictures. The book starts off showing Sophie, her sister, the cat, and a few things on the floor and in the background. Then as her anger grows the pictures get closer in and shows more of her face. One of the pictures when she is most angry has a red background and her face takes up two whole pages. The size of the picture emphasizes how big and powerful her anger has made her feel. When Sophie is stomping around her house in a fit of anger, the author helps the reader imagine the noise she is making by writing different sounds on the page as she is making them. She doesn't just type them in, but she draws them and tries to incorporate them into the picture. One illustration shows Sophie roaring with anger.Read more ›
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a children's librarian I sometimes have the delight of being in a first row seat for that most awesome of toddler performances: the tantrum. Tantrums come in a variety of different forms for a variety of different reasons. In a way, "When Sophie Gets Angry", is a kind of ideal adult fantasy of how a very particular toddler (Sophie) deals with her own anger. As with any book in which the title character acts in a less than truly saintlike manner, you will hear objections to this story because... well... because Sophie gets angry. Really really angry. And criticizing a children's picture book because it does exactly what it said it would do in its title is just the teensiest bit ridiculous, in my opinion.

In this book, little Miss Sophie is happily playing with her toy gorilla when her older sister sneaks up behind and grabs it with a forceful, "MY TURN". When that wisest of arbitrators, Sophie's mom, insists that it is indeed her sister's turn after all, Sophie falls headlong and painfully onto the truck that gorilla was in just moments ago. This does not improve Sophie's mood in the least. She boils with anger at the injustice of it all. She feels ready to explode. She lets loose a "red, red roar" then runs as fast as she can into her expansive backyard. There, surrounded by nature, and after having a good cleansing cry, Sophie calms down and looks about her. High up in an old beech tree, "The wide world comforts her". Ready for civilization once more, Sophie returns to her family (who is glad to see her) and helps them complete a puzzle. "And Sophie isn't angry anymore".

How you, personally, want your child to express his or her anger is entirely up to you.
Read more ›
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