Approaching Anger, Microbes, and Mazes from a child’s mindset [3-book review]

When I See Red by Britta Teckentrup (ISBN: 978-3-7913-7494-9; Hardcover $14.95; Ages 4+; 40 pages)

My thoughts:  I have mixed feelings about this book. The first half has a young girl absolutely raging in anger. Storming. Yelling. Red and black with anger. Spewing forth that anger on the World at large.

A lot of pages of anger.

Then the emotional climate begins to calm, settle, and the anger is overcome. All well and good and as it should be. 

But I just wonder if there is too much of the outrageous, raging anger in the story and in the images. Does this heavily implant in the child's mind that it is ok to rant and rage to stomp and screech? So long as you settle down afterwards?

I can see using this with a group of teens or adults to show them the utter wrongness that such outbursts of anger are. And you can't make up after all that anger and be nice and calm.

The use of anger to engage and result in correcting wrongs can be good or it can be bad. The idea behind this book is to use the anger constructively. But I'm afraid there is too much allowance for raging anger. 

We see mobs raging in anger because of ills of society, unjust issues, misuse of power. Mob anger is not a source of good. 

So what I'm essentially saying is that much care needs to be used in using this book with children.  

About the book: The heroine of this beautifully illustrated story feels her anger like a storm in a dark forest. It sweeps her away, and she thunders and howls. She pours down her emotions like sheets of rain; rage surges like a wind whipping angry waves. Her anger takes her on a wild ride.

Appropriate for a wide variety of ages, this book illustrates many aspects of anger that are often hard to articulate— how overwhelming it is, how isolating, even scary. But it also shows anger to be a source of power and an agent for change. Teckentrup’s impactful, boldly colored paintings skillfully evoke the way intense anger can take us on an emotional journey, one that can be both exhausting and affirming. This beautiful tribute to one girl’s experience of anger offers readers the opportunity to make sense of, and talk about their own feelings of rage in a time when that kind of understanding is more important than ever.

Is There Life on Your Nose? by Christian Bortslap (ISBN: 978-3-7913-7497-0; Hardcover $17.95; Ages 6+; 56 pages)

My thoughts:  This nonfiction book is funny and simple in its explanation of the tiny microbe world that lives all around us. There is not a lot of focus on the "germ" aspect as there is focus on the ever present and everywhere existence of all types of microbes. 

The end pages have more detailed information associated with each page previously stated in simplistic terms.

The book is simply and brightly illustrated. 

About the book: Germs, microbes, bacteria—these days those words are fraught with fear and uncertainty. But they’re not all bad. In fact, most of them make life and nature possible. Christian Borstlap’s playful, boldly colored illustrations and cheerful text will help kids understand that microbes are everywhere—in our noses and tummies, in the food we eat, in the air we breathe. From the world’s largest organism in Oregon’s Blue Mountains, to the bacteria that started life on earth; from microbes that help recycle plastic, to yeast that makes bread taste good—this book shows the incredible diversity of these tiny beings and how they affect every aspect of our lives. Borstlap uses both science and humor to demystify a potentially scary subject, and closes with double-page spreads that are packed with information to satisfy the most curious readers.

The Book of Labyrinths and Mazes by Silke Vry and illustrated by Finn Dean (ISBN: 978-3-7913-7474-1; Hardcover $19.95; Ages 7+; 96 pages)

My thoughts:  I'm not a "puzzle, labyrinth, or maze" person. So this books doesn't entice me or draw me into its pages.

However, it is informative and I did learn that there is a difference between a labyrinth and a maze.  I also learned that they have been around since man's early history. They have played a role in religions as well as entertainment.

I think the book would be quite interesting to those who already have a liking or love for  the complexities of labyrinths and mazes. I think that the illustrations are nice but would have been better had the images been more defined in nature rather than the soft tonal drawings.

This is a good book for a library so older children and adults can borrow and ponder.

About the book: This brilliant book on mazes and labyrinths in history and the modern world encourages young readers to really think about why these puzzles are so appealing. Filled with photographs, drawings, artwork, illustrations, and puzzles, it takes a thematic approach to these enigmatic works. Why are we sometimes afraid to get lost—and why does the idea excite us? How do mazes and labyrinths figure in history and mythology? What can nature tell us about humankind’s obsession with lines, spirals, and patterns? Along the way children will learn about the labyrinth designed by Daedalus for King Minos in the ancient city of Crete; the mystery of the Hemet Maze Stone in southern California; and the magnificent labyrinth at the Cathedral of Chartres. They are encouraged to trace their fingers along a labyrinth to experience its soothing effect, to solve maze-related number puzzles, and to create their own mazes and labyrinths. Packed with fun facts and engaging ideas, this book will help children understand why mazes and labyrinths are so popular, while inspiring them to identify and create these fascinating puzzles in their own world.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

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