“Today, Finn is cranky. Anything could happen.”
Finn Throws a Fit!, written by David Elliott and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, is a book that I cannot imagine our bookshelves without. It makes me smile every time we read it – and Charlotte gets a big kick out of helping me act it out.
Not surprisingly, the book is about a boy who throws an unexpected tantrum. He screams and cries and kicks. The genius of Elliott’s story, in my opinion, is that he exaggerates the fit so greatly that parents and toddlers alike are entertained by it. Best of all, the illustrator really captures the often intense (er, unreasonable) emotions of toddlerhood. When Finn cries in the story, for example, the house floods. The illustration shows the flooding, of course, but it also shows a fist-banging, wailing little Finn with his tears raining down. And I don’t know what it is about that image, but toddlers always seem to empathize with Finn’s distress while still being able to stand back and giggle at Finn’s little dog paddling through the flood with a smile.
Another reason that I really like this book is that it incorporates weather. Finn’s tantrum is described and illustrated in terms of thunder, lightning, a flood, an avalanche, an earthquake, a tidal wave, a hurricane, and a blizzard. Before and after the fit, there are bright sunny skies. It’s a fun way to talk to Charlotte about storms.
“The fit goes on and on. It lasts until it doesn’t.”
But the number one reason that I like Finn Throws a Fit! is the image on the page when the fit ends. That page was made for parents. It’s hilarious. The little kid just looks exhausted, like he can’t possibly muster up the energy required to continue wreaking havoc. So he’ll just sit here for a moment before it’s time for the next tantrum, thank you.
Pros: Overall, I think this is a wonderful book. I am forever an addict of Timothy Basil Erin’s illustrations because of this book. I also love the little details in the pages – the dog swimming in the flood, the sun miraculously rising as soon as the tantrum finishes, the expressive clouds above Finn’s head when he’s upset, etc. Finn Throws a Fit! is just plain fun.
Borrow or Buy: BUY! Um. Right now.
Literacy Tip: Pack a book! EVERYWHERE. Keep a couple in your diaper bag for slow moments at the park or on the bus or train. Keep one or two in your car. Tuck one along on your afternoon walk. If books are a common part of your child’s world, they will want to check them out. These days, my daughter even picks out the books she wants for the road =)
What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail telling me a tantrum story. Come on, WE ALL HAVE ONE. The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winners will be announced next Tuesday morning. You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to six entries.
An announcement: The winner of last week’s book series giveaway was Bethany. I hope you and your lovely Olivia enjoy signing together, Bethany!