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Sometimes I'm Bombaloo Hardcover – March 1, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Most of the time Katie Honors is a good kid. But sometimes, when her baby brother has knocked over one too many of her beautiful castles, Katie becomes Bombaloo. She uses her fists and feet instead of her words. Her toys "end up all over the floor--and so does my brother." It takes some alone time, a lot of parental understanding, and a silly episode with flying underwear to calm Bombaloo down again and return her to her happy Katie Honors state.

There aren't too many kids who won't be able to relate to award-winning author Rachel Vail's miniature version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Katie's rage is scary and reflected alarmingly well by illustrator Yumi Heo's collage, pencil, and paint illustrations, reminiscent of the art of Lane Smith, Giselle Potter, and Maira Kalman. The message is clear: sometimes we get angry--really, really angry--but it's important to calm down eventually and make it up to those we may have hurt. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Emotions bubble over in this wise picture book about how a child deals with anger. Katie Honors is a self-described "really good kid," generally obedient, kind and conscientious. But occasionally her baby brother's penchant for wrecking her building-block castles sends Katie over the edge: "Sometimes I'm Bombaloo," she explains about her furious alter ego. "I show my teeth and make fierce noises.... I use my feet and my fists instead of my words.... I want to smash stuff." Obliged to "take some time for myself and think about it," Katie calms down and realizes, "I'm sorry and a little frightened." Vail (Over the Moon; the Friendship Ring series) speaks knowingly to both young children and parents, emphasizing love and patience. Her kid-friendly phrasing and language add immediacy and some humor to the proceedings. Much like Betsy Everitt's Mean Soup, this book's message that it's normal, if scary, to lose control sometimes is clear, and emphasized in a most satisfying way. Heo's (Father's Rubber Shoes) highly patterned mixed-media illustrations, alternately warm and perky, use vibrant backgrounds, blocks of color and carefully chosen images to depict Katie's emotional tornado. Memorable scenes include Katie seated against a stark black background during her time-out, and an up-close view of her in the throes of a Bombaloo moment. Ages 3-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 450L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439087554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439087551
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,157,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a psychologically adept book that strikes a good balance between message and entertainment. The young narrator talks about how she's generally a good person: "...I'm a really good kid. I smile a lot because usually I'm happy, and I give excellent hugs." She behaves even when her brother knocks over her blocks.
"But," she explains, "sometimes I'm Bombaloo." She shows her teeth, makes fierce noises and scrunches up her face." I use my feet and my fists instead of my words." She knows that later, after a time-out ("I have to go take some time for myself and think about it"), she'll calm down and apologize to her brother. But the book doesn't minimize the strength of the feelings: "But while I'm Bombaloo, I'm not sorry; I'm angry. I hate everybody and everything..."
The author shows a calm, factual empathy in her narrator's voice "And I'm sorry and a little frightened. It's scary, being Bombaloo. My mother knows that. She hugs me and helps me clean up...," and, after making up with her brother, "we build a new castle together." The book neither excuses nor judges Bombaloo-style anger. Instead, it shows the feelings that occur before, during, and after it, and offers parents and kids the hope of resolution. 29 pages, with excellent, evocative illustrations by Yumi Heo.
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Format: Hardcover
I think this is a psychologically adept book that strikes a good balance between message and entertainment. The young narrator talks about how she's generally a good person: "...I'm a really good kid. I smile a lot because usually I'm happy, and I give excellent hugs." She behaves even when her brother knocks over her blocks.
"But," she explains, "sometimes I'm Bombaloo." She shows her teeth, makes fierce noises and scrunches up her face." I use my feet and my fists instead of my words." She knows that later, after a time-out ("I have to go take some time for myself and think about it"), she'll calm down and apologize to her brother. But the book doesn't minimize the strength of the feelings: "But while I'm Bombaloo, I'm not sorry; I'm angry. I hate everybody and everything..."
The author shows a calm, factual empathy in her narrator's voice "And I'm sorry and a little frightened. It's scary, being Bombaloo. My mother knows that. She hugs me and helps me clean up...," and, after making up with her brother, "we build a new castle together." The book neither excuses nor judges Bombaloo-style anger. Instead, it shows the feelings that occur before, during, and after it, and offers parents and kids the hope of resolution. 29 pages, with excellent, evocative illustrations by Yumi Heo.
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Format: Paperback
(review by Bob Smith's wife, Kathy)

THis book is about a sweet little girl who sometimes gets angry and then turns into bombaloo, who screams, hits, kicks, and gets sent to her room. And it's scary being bombaloo, she doesn't like how it feels, But then she calms down and is better.

I have several books about anger and dealing with emotions, actually. BUt this one is my daughter's favorite and mine too.

So I made her this bombaloo pillow. Now, I'm not a great sewer or artist, but basically I took her to the store and she picked out a happy fabric and an angry fabric. I then cut out a face w/arms and simple hands coming out the sides (kinda like where ears go). I then matched and cut out the same in the other fabric. I used buttons and ribbon to sew on faces - a happy face and angry face. Then sewed them together and stuffed it.

That's her bombaloo pillow. So when she's angry, she can punch it, bite it, throw it, etc. And then it has the happy side that she can put on her bed, cuddle up to, etc. She calls it her Bombaloo pillow and remembers the book when she sees it. PLus just the activity of making a pillow to go with the book was really great for helping her to remember what she learned in the story.

Kids need to know how to deal with scary emotions, like anger and fear. When they get angry, they want to strike out. Unfortunately, most parents don't want them to hit, scream, yell, punch, bite, etc. So the first step is helping them recognize when they are angry, then teaching them that the feeling is normal, and then teaching them how to express it "appropriately", and lastly, teaching them how to calm themselves. This book addresses many of those steps in a very visual, concrete way.
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By A Customer on May 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My 2-1/2 year old daughter loves this book. It gave us a way to talk about out-of-control emotions. Now when she gets mad, I can ask her, "Are you bombaloo?" The question focuses her attention -- and she either acknowledges that she's mad or she shifts her mood, and says "I'm not bombaloo!" and laughs. The book has wonderful illlustrations. The writer communicates in a direct way that young children can understand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased to teach my students in my special education classroom. The book would be great as it explains that it is okay to be angry but it focuses so much more on the negative behaviors than on correcting that behavior. It is a highly recommended book by early childhood professionals. I do read it but then we talk about how to control our feelings/ or how to make other choices and that in the end... our children know they are loved.
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