Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

What beast does your anger look like?

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts: A Book About Anger, by Ian De Haes, (Apr. 2018, Flyaway Books), $16, ISBN: 9780664263553

Recommended for readers 4-7

Simon is a little boy with a BIG temper. And when his temper flares, he feels like different animals: a ramming goat, a roaring lion, even a giant dragon! At first, it feels wonderful to have that kind of control over people’s reactions, but eventually, who wants to worry about someone’s bad temper? Simon finds himself feeling pretty lonely until he learns how to tame some of those big, bad, angry beasts.

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts is a smart, visual way to start a discussion about anger and anger management. Simon’s anger manifests as exceedingly larger animals as his temper runs unchecked, and his anger gives him a feeling of power: “It was great, it was marvelous, it was magical…” until his anger alienates everyone around him. Kids will enjoy and understand the powerful feelings that come with anger, and the illustrated beasts help with visualization, and can help kids communicate their feelings when tempers flare. Repetitive phrases like “it was great…” reinforces understanding – anger can make someone feel big and powerful, especially a child who may feel otherwise powerless – while leading into the moment where “it” is no longer great, marvelous, or magical, it is lonely; the story encourages readers to seek out meditation and relaxation practices to help, like Simon, control the beasts. A section for parents and educators at the end discusses anger management in children.

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts is a nice addition to books on emotions and feelings. Similar books include Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry and Rachel Vail’s Sometimes I’m Bombaloo.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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