A little boy’s temper becomes a creature of its own.
Fed up with waiting his turn for the swings and slide at a crowded playground, Sam becomes angry. From the top of his head rises a dark tangle of curly pencil lines. “Suddenly, something jumped in among the kids.” It’s a Temper, and it’s a feisty little monster. It clears the playground (no more waiting!) and follows Sam home. Naturally there’s trouble, and Sam’s defense that “it wasn’t me. It was my Temper” holds no water. From home to school to playground, Sam becomes increasingly frustrated with the Temper’s mischief and eruptions. Finally, he musters inner strength and learns to control it. It’s unclear, given that the Temper arose from Sam’s own head, why checking it doesn’t make it disappear—instead, it lurks near a toddler as if considering becoming that toddler’s temper. Intermittent patterned backgrounds recall the 1970s, as does the limited color range, which nicely offsets the volatile emotion. Figures are stylized with a faint touch of art deco, especially in their positions and postures. The Temper’s a ball of curly black hair with black button eyes, striped limbs and tail, and a huge red mouth, its general shape paralleling Sam’s hair (though also, unfortunately, recalling a golliwog doll).
A satisfactory addition to the wide category of picture books about fury and tantrums. (Picture book. 3-6)