Way Past Mad
Hallee Adelman, Author
Sandra de la Prada, Illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company, Fiction, Mar. 1, 2020
Suitable for Ages: 5-7
Themes: Anger, Emotions and feelings, Families, Friendship
Opening: Nate messed up my room. It made me mad.
Keya is mad. Way past mad. The kind of mad that starts and swells and spreads like a rash. She kicks, rocks and yells at her best friend and says things that hurts.
Now Keya doesn’t like what her mad made her do. Can she find a way past mad?
Why I like this book:
Hallee Adelman’s entertaining picture book opens a lot of opportunities to talk about emotions and feelings. The cover on the book is priceless and hints at what’s to come. Sandra de la Prada’s illustrations are bold, colorful and perfectly express Keya’s emotions and compliment the entire story.
There are many books that deal with childhood anger, but there is a parent in place to guide the child. In Way Past Mad, Keya finds her own way to deal with her anger even if it means making big mistakes. First she kicks rocks as she walks, runs off pent up energy, trips and falls on the sidewalk, and says hurtful things to her best friend. Do they help her feel less angry? No! But hurting her best friend wakes her up to what her anger can do to someone else. You’ll have to read the story to find out how Keya resolves her anger. Kids will laugh when they see and hear themselves in similar situations. There are many teachable moments in this story.
Resources: This is a wonderful opportunity to talk with children about how they deal with their emotions. Encourage them to draw a picture of what their anger looks like. Ask them what they do when they feel angry — yell, throw things, leave the room? Is it fun feeling angry? Help children make a list of things that will help them face their anger in the future. Then ask kids to draw a picture of when they feel happy, peaceful, surprised and excited. Which picture do they like better — angry or happy?
Hallee Adelman tries not to stomp or yell when she’s mad. Most days, she uses her PhD in education, works on documentary films, and eats sour gummies (which make her face look extra mad). She lives near Philadelphia, where he funny family and two dogs make her smile. Visit Hallee at her website.
*Review copy provided by author.