Red Red Red by Polly Dunbar

Red Red Red

Polly Dunbar
Walker Books: 2019
ISBN: 9781406376968
Age: 3+

Reviewed by Viv Young

A young child, narrating a quest for the cookie jar, quickly becomes enraged when the jar is hard to reach.

Red Red Red explores pre-schooler frustration and anger with great fun and empathy. The child narrator’s tone escalates quickly from indignation at her mother’s soothing words to outright anger, mirroring the strong and sudden emotions of many young people. The mother is always understanding and her suggestion—counting to ten—is gentle, respectful and, best of all, a sound practical measure that can be tried at home.

The artwork for Red Red Red focuses especially on the child and the physical nature of anger—the screaming, head banging, and stomping are conveyed with extra oomph. There is also the liberal use of red—frenzied crayon-like scribbles radiate from the child character, increasing and decreasing as the anger rises and falls. This creative use of red is fun to notice and provides a vivid illustration of the bigness of anger as well as the relief when it is resolved.

This is an entertaining and cathartic story that can help children register anger and learn some tools to manage it.   

For more books about Anger see our Anger Review List.

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