THE BRAIN STORM by Linda Ragsdale


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review


An emotional storm shadows a kid all day.

A 6:00 a.m. alarm awakens the scowling protagonist. Above their head floats a black tornado-shaped scribble; its shape also evokes a speech bubble expressing a foul mood. This tenacious scribble won’t fit into a hoodie’s hood, a backpack, or a school locker—when shoved into these places, it goes, but it always spills out at the same time. The angry-grumpy scribble’s size varies, and it infects everything: bed covers, furniture, classmates. It simply won’t leave. Back home, a mother or grandmother knits it into an outfit—after all, its physicality resembles tangled string—but, donning it, the protagonist becomes even more furious. Even as a wearable onesie, it still hovers overhead and lurks underfoot. Characters’ bodies are solid shapes in soft tertiary colors and lovely subtle textures; everyone’s limbs are stick-thin. The protagonist has pale beige skin while others’ skin is the white of the background paper. The wordless plot is linear, though readers may wonder how the solution, when it finally arrives, is a solution: Are a rolling pin and a paper airplane an inspiration that could have worked earlier, or did this mood partly need waiting out? Regardless, the ending’s a great relief: A spread filled in fully and peacefully with soft, low-saturation colors stands in emphatic contrast to the mostly white, scribble-infected scenes before.

A sturdy addition to the bad-mood shelf. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4867-1556-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Flowerpot Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019


ChildrenGRUMPY FEET by Lisa Stubbs
by Lisa Stubbs
ChildrenGRUMPY PANTS by Claire Messer
by Claire Messer
ChildrenBIG RABBIT’S BAD MOOD by Ramona Badescu
by Ramona Badescu