I am angry by Michael Rosen. Illus. by Robert Starling

cover image

Anyone seeing a child stomp around a room, classroom or play area will immediately sympathise with the character in this book.  The kitten is angry. So angry they jump up and down, roll around and around, make a din and throw the mouse into the bin. So angry that they tear down trees and bully the bees, scare tigers, even quietening a tree full of birds.

In rhyming lines inviting the reader to predict the rhyming word, even offering some of their own, the reader will see just how angry the kitten is, seeing all in its path disposed of in some way.

Games are destroyed, words boiled, balloons busted, even things in space are not immune. The moon is squashed, the kitten terrifies the sun and after scaring off the giant paints the whole sky red and all that effort makes the kitten so tired, there is only one place to be.

A very funny, laugh out loud look at anger and its various guises, readers will recognise many of the antics, seen both in themselves and displayed by those around them.

Rosen developed the idea after seeing one of his children develop a rage, anger at being small.  Readers will compare their mood with those seen on the page, laugh at the way the kitten resolves its anger and consequently laugh at themselves. The resolution of the story will bring sighs of recognition and empathy, especially so with the wonderful illustrations, showing a ferocious cat with the angriest look on its face, shown on the wonderful  first endpapers with just the eyes, mouth and eyebrows, then the last endpapers showing a kitten at rest. Readers will enjoy looking closely at the illustrations, seeing how so much is told through a few well placed strokes, and how the anger is displayed so well, while the background is detailed and funny.

Themes: Anger, Verse, Family, Kitten.

Fran Knight