When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry… (Scholastic Bookshelf)

by Molly Bang

Paperback, 2004



Call number



Scholastic Paperbacks (2004), Edition: Reprint, 40 pages


A young girl is upset and doesn't know how to manage her anger but takes the time to cool off and regain her composure.

Media reviews

Children's Literature
Marilyn Courtot (Children's Literature) It is often difficult for kids to talk about their feelings, especially anger. Bang offers a great opportunity for parents and kids to discuss anger and how Sophie handles it. The situation is typical; Sophie's sister has taken her toy, which makes her very
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angry. The vivid colors and illustrations likening Sophie to a volcano get the point across. So too does the resolution that Sophie finds, by escaping outdoors to climb her favorite tree. There she calms down and the world becomes a quieter place bathed in soothing green and blue. 1999, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 2 to 7.
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2 more
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books,
Janice M. Del Negro (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 1999 (Vol. 52, No. 8)) Sophie loses a tug-of-war altercation with her sister over a stuffed monkey, and her anger propels her out of the house and into an anger-reducing run. After running, crying, climbing a tree, and
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being soothed by the breeze, Sophie feels better and goes home, where everyone is happy to see her. Bang has captured a young child’s uncontrollable eruption of anger in both language (“She kicks. She screams. She wants to smash the world to smithereens”) and images (when Sophie “roars a red, red roar,” she really does). In the scenes where Sophie’s rage is the impetus, the objects in the hotly colored illustrations are outlined in a flaming orange red; as Sophie calms down, the outline changes to a soothing pink, then to cool blues and greens, and finally to the cheerful yellow outlines of the domestic scenes. The double-page spreads are colored in a fiesta palette of warm yellows, saturated blues, and acid greens. In the closing spreads the yellow floors, orange walls, and pink woodwork combine to create a cozy home and hearth, where “everything is back together again and Sophie isn’t angry anymore.” Simple but effective, this title has a cohesive narrative of both words and images that could well be used in storytime programming or to start a discussion of what to do when you’re mad.
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Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1999) When Sophie has to surrender one toy to her sister, stumbles over another toy, and gets no sympathy from her mother, she runs furiously out into the woods, first to cry, and then sit in a huge old beech, watching the ocean until the tempest abates. Bang (Common Ground,
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1997, etc.) captures the intensity of Sophie's feelings with strong, broadly brushed forms and colors: images of flames and a volcano; blue eyes glaring up from a red background that looks as if it's exploding; then harmonious, leafy greens and browns; and concluding scenes of domestic amity. This briefly told behavior-management episode explores well-worked thematic territory, but as in Hiawyn Oram's Angry Arthur(1989)--and in contrast to the child in Betsy Everitt's Mean Soup (1992)--Sophie finds a way to cope with her anger, quite laudably, without a helping adult hand. 1999, Blue Sky/Scholastic, $15.95. © 1999
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User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Happily absorbed in her play, Sophie is unprepared when her sister grabs her toy gorilla, and absolutely infuriated when her mother points out that it is her sister's turn to play with it. Boiling over with rage, feeling like a volcano about to explode, Sophie does what she always does when she
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gets very, very angry: she runs...

Chosen as a Caldecott Honor book in 2000, When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry is illustrated in vibrant, primary colors that perfectly capture the emotional register of each scene. Sophie begins the story outlined in a happy yellow, but her quick descent into anger is accompanied by a red halo that grows with her rage, becoming almost another being - a red shadow being - as she throws a temper tantrum. As she slowly calms down, soothed by the quiet beauty of the natural world around her, her outline returns to less strident hues.

I really appreciated Molly Bang's use of color here, finding it very astute, and think her artwork will grab young readers' attention. That said, I have to agree with my friend Chandra, in wondering if it was really worthy of a nod from the Caldecott committee. I also had some mixed feelings about the story itself. While I applaud Bang's sympathetic portrait of a child's emotions, I wasn't sure I approved of the way in which the sibling conflict was resolved. I don't know about you, but when I get very angry, removing myself from the situation and calming down - while absolutely necessary - are just the first step. There needs to be discussion, possibly apologies, before everything is back to "normal." Still, despite these reservations, I think this is a good title to use with children, to explore handling strong anger.
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LibraryThing member mrichter
This is a wonderful book. It's illustrations really capture how it feels to be angry. This book addresses anger and gives a healthy option for dealing with anger. It shows that anger can happen it can be dealt with in a healthy way and everyone can come together again peacefully. This would be a
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good book for discussing feelings in the classroom and healthy ways to deal with strong feelings.
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LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
When Sophie and her sister get into a fight over whose turn it is to play with a specific toy, Sophie loses it. Her anger gets to the point that she runs away from the house and into a tree nearby, looking out over all the natural world around her. Here she finds peace and returns home calm.

While I
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appreciate that this book looks at children's emotions and acknowledges that difficult ones like anger can often be a part of a child's day, I find it difficult to love this book as much as others do. Yes, Sophie does deal with her anger in a nonviolent manner and the fact that she can self-soothe to a degree is admirable. But I dislike greatly that her way of dealing with anger is to literally run away from the situation without a word to others and to come back in later without an apology for her behavior. I'm just not sure that's the way I'd want to teach kids to deal with their frustration.

That all being said, however, I find that kids really do connect with this book. I recently read this with my 4-year-old niece, and she was interested in going back to this title after we finished it to examine the beginning again. I used to have a print copy/audio book version in my kindergarten class, and the kids all loved to read/listen to this one over and over again. So clearly this title does strike a chord with kids, who frequently get angry with one another over small incidents like sharing toys. I just wish it presented a better response than simply running away from one's problems.
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LibraryThing member YasminAlder
This book is about a little girl named Sophie who gets really angry when her sister takes the toy gorilla from her. She screams and yells and runs outside. She finds a tree and climbs it and slowly calms down. Then she comes back home and everyone is happy and everything is good.
I really liked the
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illustrations in this book and I loved how child oriented it is. It is definitely a book for children, 100%. I would love to have this book in my personal collection when I start a family.
This book would be great to use in a classroom to help children to understand feelings, which is a milestone in a child's life. This book helps them to understand the feeling of anger. After reading this book I think it would be fun to see what other emotions and feelings the children can recognize, then we might talk about what they do when they are angry and why they get angry. Then we could close up the discussion by talking about ways to try to not be angry.
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LibraryThing member Necampos
This book shows a little girl expressing her anger after getting mad at her sister. The book has great illustrations and shows clearly images of Sophie's anger. Students can relate to these emotions because everyone gets angry. Sophie goes to be alone and eventually calms down. We can tell students
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that sometimes being alone will help us feel better, and maybe students can learn to deal with stress a little better.
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LibraryThing member teddiemitchell
When Sophie Gets Angry --Really, Really Angry is about a young girl who is busy playing when her younger sister comes up and grabs Gorilla. Sophie was already upset but when she tripped over another toy, man did she get angry! Sophie then gets away and all the sounds of nature calm her down and she
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returns home where everything is back to normal and she is no longer angry. The colors used in the illustration are quite vibrant and draw your attention.

I can personally relate to this book with remembering when I was younger and my younger sister would take toys away from me and how angry I would get, and then coming back and wanting to play with her again. I also have a stepson who gets really angry when somebody grabs his toy.

In the classroom, I would have my students write up or illustrate the time that they had a toy taken from them and how angry they got and what they did to relieve that anger. Another thing that the students could do was bring in one of their favorite toys that they hated to share and tell about a time that they were forced to share it.
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LibraryThing member juanitaloo
The author's simple language makes it easy for young children to describes the cycle of anger brewing to its peak and its subsequent decline. The bright, colorful illustrations also employ some comic book techniques: SMASH, ROAR, PABAM are used for sound effects. A great book for parents and
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teachers to discuss with children how to deal with their anger and feelings.
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LibraryThing member Willogrove
This book is a good discussion starter. Talk about the different things people do when they get angry, and what you do when you get angry. What are good things do to when angry and what are bad things to do?
LibraryThing member lpsinterpreter
This is a Caldecott award story about Sophie who gets angry and doesn't want to share with her sister. Sophie gives herself a time out. She takes a walk, calms down and comes back home where she is welcomed back.

This picture book used very bright bold colors to illistrate the fierce anger she was
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feeling when her mother told her she had to share her gorilla with her sister. I noticed that the book didn't have many words, and when Sophie was angry and walking through the trees, all was quiet, but when she calmed down, and walked home, the birds and other sound affects could be heard. This made me think mabey there was noise but she was so angry she couldn't hear them before.

This would be a good emotion to role play. You could have a time when you talk over different situations and ask the kids what they would do.
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LibraryThing member anngugat
The illustrations in this book do so much for expressing all of the emotions that Sophie experiences. This book give children a great example of how to calm yourself down.
LibraryThing member conuly
Sophie is playing with a toy when her sister snatches it away - and her parents take her sister's side! Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong, but Sophie is clearly too upset to argue rationally.

So she does the only thing left to do. She leaves until she calms down. Which is exactly what I teach
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my young nieces to do, except that we're in a city so I encourage them to go to their mom's room to calm down in instead of a tree.
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LibraryThing member chendri
This book is about a little girl who has problems controlling her anger. She gets furious with her sister because she does not want to share the toy she sister takes away. She throws an fit and then runs away into the woods to cool down. Once her anger is gone she comes back home to a loving family
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who is awaiting her return.

I really enjoyed this book because its so true to how kids react to little things in life. The illustration in the book is awesone as well. I can see a lot of my own kids in how she reacted to sharing and the temper flareing. I wish I would have had this book when my kids were younger and something would upset them, I would have sat them down and read it to them everytime, just so they can see it really will be alright in the end!

This would be a great book to keep in the classroom for when those heated moments take plave among the students. As stated above, if we had a student or more having problems sharing or with their anger this would be a good book to pull out and have the kids sit in their reading circle and listen to me read to them. Being in school we can not let the child leave to that wooded place to cool down, but maybe I could have a spot in my room that would be the "get away" area for a child having a bad day to escape to for a few minutes. Another idea would to have the kids draw out their frustration and then share with the class if he/she chose to.
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LibraryThing member sdglenn
Great for all ages. This book is about feelings. We could have the children write about how they deal with their feelings.
LibraryThing member ericarhenry
I really enjoyed this book and I think it's a good book for kids to read about how to control their anger. I work with one girl in particular who has anger issues and it's been a challenge to figure out a way that she will listen to to help her control her anger. If she were younger, I think this
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would be a great book for her. It's a story about Sophie, who gets angry because she has to share her toy gorilla with her sister. Her sister grabs it from her and Sophie falls over a toy truck. She gets furious and storms out of the house, takes a walk, calms down by sitting in a beech tree, and finally goes home where everyone is glad to see her. She got very angry, took a walk and controlled her anger. Once she got it under control, she felt great. The illustrations really make this book. I think you can read it just through the pictures. Molly Bang is great at conveying emotion through her illustrations.
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LibraryThing member tshrum06
This is an example of realistic fiction. Sophie is a realistic seeming girl who gets angry and has to learn how to cope with her anger and calm herself down. I think kids can really relate to feeling so overwhelmed with an emotion that they don’t really know how to deal with at first, so in that
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aspect it is a really good example of realistic fiction. It’s relatable and mostly believable.
Age Appropriateness: Primary
Media: Chalk, charcoal
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LibraryThing member kyoder06
Age Appropriateness: Primary
Media: Acrylic
Genre: Realistic Fiction

This is a great story for young kids. It provides a chance to talk about getting angry and upset and a good way to deal with those feelings. It falls into realistic fiction because it tells the story of a young girl that could really
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have taken place. The pictures are vibrant and bold, sure to catch the attention of the reader(s). I think the style is great too. There is a good use of hyperbole within the story. For example: Sophie is a volcano, ready to explode.” and “She roars a red, red roar.” These are both descriptions of how mad she is but obviously she is not a volcano or roaring red. They serve to let the reader know just how angry she actually is, and I think their use is perfect.
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LibraryThing member ilovezeppe
Sophie's turn is up with the toy...oh she is so angry. Great book, however, a little concerned that Sophie runs and runs and runs when she is angry. This isn't safe.
LibraryThing member jamie_tow
When Sophie Gets Angry Really, Really Angry, is a picture book about a little girl named Sophie who becomes angry with her sister for trying to play with the stuffed gorilla, that she wants to play with. When Sophie gets angry at her sister, she runs away from her house and climbs a big beech tree.
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Where she watches the waves and lets the calm breeze comfort her. When she feels better, she climbs down and goes happily back home.

This book has vibrant colors reflect the heat only anger can create, and the colors cool as Sophie's temper cools. This book is excellent in showing a visual transformation from anger to calm, and is a "Read Aloud" book a wonder candiate for storytime. The story shows children one way of effectively dealing with angry emotions.

This book is outstanding that helps to validate children feelings such as upon the birth of a sibling or a sad family event such as parental separation. It's so important for children to know that anger itself is okay and that there are appropriate ways to defuse it, that don't hurt others. Even as adults we can use the visually compelling reminders that physical exertion, time alone and being in nature can help to soothe angry or hurt feelings.
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LibraryThing member archerje
This book shows a little girl expressing her anger after getting mad at her sister. The book has great illustrations and shows clearly images of Sophie's anger. Students can relate to these emotions because everyone gets angry. Sophie goes to be alone and eventually calms down. We can tell students
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that sometimes being alone will help us feel better, and maybe students can learn to deal with stress a little better.
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LibraryThing member bcbias
This book is about a little girl named Sophie who gets really angry when her sister takes the toy gorilla from her. She kicks and screams and yells and loses control. She runs out of the house and into the woods to cry and get everything out before she calms down and returns to the house. This
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would be a great book to read if there are some students with anger management issues in the classroom.
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LibraryThing member Kel18
It is easy to read, funny illustrations, and like word choice
LibraryThing member KristinWhite
This book is good for kindergarten. So, it helps children relate to Sophie when they are angry. It also helps them think of ways to deal with their own anger.
LibraryThing member meallen1
This book is a realistic fiction book. It is about a little girl named Sophie who becomes angry with her sister for trying to play with the stuffed gorilla that she wants to play with. When Sophie gets angry at her sister, she runs away from her house and climbs a big beech tree where she watches
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the waves and lets the calm breeze comfort her. When she feels better she climbs down and goes happily back home. The illustrations in this book are drawn in a way as to reflect her mood at that time. They are not drawn with fine lines and a lot of detail. They have wide outlines and vibrant color. In a way, they look as if they were made by a child using crayons or finger paints. They start out, before Sophie becomes angry, with more calm colors such as green. When she begins to get mad at her sister the background changes from green to hot pink and when she is at the peak of her anger, the background changes to bright red to symbolize her anger. The grade level is second or third grade. The curricular connection is realistic fiction.
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LibraryThing member LanaLee123
We all get angry and thus, require outlets for this anger. Sophie Gets Angry provides the perfect one for youngsters learning to cope with anger, especially with the presence of siblings: taking time to oneself. I think at the preschool-k level it is an important thing for children to learn and
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understand that recognizing the need for space is OK and a healthy aspect of growing up.
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LibraryThing member DHARDY
The author uses a great combination of words, pictures, and bold colors to accurately express the way that Sophie is feeling. Sophie gets upset because she has to share a toy with her sibling, which she feels is unfair because it’s her favorite toy and she was playing with it.

I love the way the
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author uses a realistic and almost reverent way to describe Sophie’s anger. The illustrations using both pages of the book to show how elevated her anger was getting brought the point home but also made it humorous. I particularly like the way that it shows that it's alright to get angry, but it also shows non-violent ways to calm down or cool off.

Great book for children, this book can be used to describe different emotions. I believe it is especially good for discussing ways to relieve or control our anger especially for small children dealing with anger issues.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

40 p.; 9.75 inches


0439598451 / 9780439598453


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