LITTLE UNICORN IS ANGRY
by Aurelie Chien Chow Chine
Edited by Sylvie Michel and Hannah Daffern
Buster Books 2019
Ages 4- 8 years
Little Unicorn is Angry by Aurelie Chien Chow Chine describes how the character of Little Unicorn uses a simple breathing technique to soothe himself and blow his anger away. It is not so much a narrative as a child friendly instruction manual showing how to recognise and deal with anger. It is one in a series of four books dealing with the emotional states of Little Unicorn. It may be useful to parents or carers who wish to introduce their children to the concept of emotional self regulation.
Although it is quite a wordy book for a young age group, it could easily be broken up into sections by the adult reader and opened at relevant sections when needed. The first few pages focus on naming common emotional states. This includes a page which pairs an illustration to an emotional state in order to help a child indicate what they are feeling in the present moment. This is followed by several pages which provide suggestions for what could be making Little Unicorn Angry. Many of these might be recognisable to parents and their children, such as not wanting to get in the bath, and then, not wanting to get out of the bath. The depiction of Little Unicorn when he is angry also includes the distinction between grumpy and angry. The next section introduces a breathing technique that Little Unicorn performs in order to “chase away a cloud of anger”. The final page shows that Little Unicorn is feeling much calmer after the breathing exercise and suggests that the reader might like to use the same breathing technique.
The format of the book is a small square with glossy pages. The illustrations focus on a cute, rotund, cartoon unicorn whose mane changes colour depending on his emotional state. The illustrations are non gender specific, though the text indicates that the unicorn is male. The emphasis of the illustrations are on Little Unicorn’s emotional expression, which includes facial expressions as well as physical posture, such as hands on hips or stomping on the floor. There is a combination of full page illustrations and smaller symbolic drawings which add meaning to the text.