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THE DAY LEO SAID, “I HATE YOU!” by Robie H. Harris Kirkus Star


by Robie H. Harris & illustrated by Molly Bang

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-06580-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

The H-word gets the full attention of two of picture-book literature’s finest emotional plumbers. When Leo’s naughty behavior earns him “no” after “no” from his mother, the boy stalks off to his room, “where nobody can say no!” A quick (and unflattering) drawing of Mommy on the wall, however, demonstrates that she can say no wherever she likes. Furious, Leo bursts out with the three dreaded words: “I hate you!” he screams, his giant mouth and the angry red-and-yellow block letters dominating the page. Immediately he wishes he could take it back, but though Mommy is disappointed in him, a healing discussion about the difference between broccoli and people ensues. Bang utilizes the same shock of colors and shapes she employed in When Sophie Gets Angry…Really, Really Angry (2000), with some mixed media as well, to great emotional effect. When Leo shouts, his anger is palpable—as is his instant regret. Harris’s patient take on a difficult topic will make this must-have reading for many a parent and child. (Picture book. 4-8)