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STEPS AND STONES by Gail Silver

STEPS AND STONES

An Anh's Anger Story

From the Anh's Anger series, volume 2

By Gail Silver (Author) , Christiane Krömer (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-935209-87-4
Publisher: Plum Blossom Books

Silver and Krömer pair their considerable talents to create a successful second title in the Anh’s Anger series (Anh's Anger, 2009).

Here Anh faces a common childhood dilemma: He wants to do one thing (dig in the dirt at recess), while his friends are set on doing another (playing kickball). He tries to convince his friends to join him, but one boy retorts, “Digging is for babies.” This crushes Ahn; he “felt like he’d been punched in the stomach.” As Anh retreats to “the shade of the oak tree” with “a salty tear rounding the corner of his lip,” Anger explodes onto the scene in a wild collage of green, red and yellow textures with spiral, swirly eyes and a mouthful of sharp teeth. He reminds Anh that he “always show[s] up when things aren’t going your way.” This personification of Anger fills Anh’s head with negative thoughts, but Anh resists its goading and begins to walk slowly. With each step they breathe in and out and count. This walking meditation helps Anh get control of his feelings. As the counting increases, Anger’s vibrant colors begin to fade, and his size diminishes. Silver’s dialogue-driven text is likely to provoke meaningful discussions about dealing with disappointment and controlling tempers. Preschoolers and primary-grade students will appreciate Krömer’s visual feast of pencil, paint and tactile collage elements used to vividly illustrate Anh’s story.

Sure to fill a niche for those tackling potentially thorny social situations, this straightforward and enlightened approach will appeal to many. (Picture book. 4-7)