This is a collection of twelve short anthropomorphic stories, exploring emotion in general and anger in particular. Each of the animals reflects a different facet of anger – the hyrax is angry because the sun stops shining every night, the elephant is angry with himself, the ant tries unsuccessfully to provoke the sanguine squirrel, while the hippopotamus and rhinoceros decide to negotiate rather than get angry when they find themselves stuck in a tricky situation.
The animals all share a determination to make sense of their emotions, so reflecting the way that we each deal differently with anger. Some animals let their anger take them over, some try to understand what makes them angry and some try to control it. En route, they display humour, patience, empathy and concern.
The key message of the book is good for leading into discussions about emotions and our reactions to other people. However, the translation sometimes stilts the flow of the narrative and the vocabulary is occasionally too complex for the book’s intended audience. The final chapter is also puzzling, seeming to send the message that anger, after all, is a good thing.
That said, it’s fun, quirky and insightful, with copious retro images to support the text.