Children’s Book Giveaway: Finn Throws a Fit!
November 02, 2010

“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.

Cons: None.

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.

To purchase this book: You can buy Finn Throws a Fit! through (that link uses my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie

An announcement: The winner of last week’s book series giveaway was Bethany.  I hope you and your lovely Olivia enjoy signing together, Bethany!

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  1. By on November 02, 2010

    This sounds like a great book!  Nora’s a little young for full-on tantrums but yesterday I was at a doctor’s appointment getting my wrist checked out and she insisted on being held while whining and squirming around restlessly.  The poor doctor did his best to examine me.  It was difficult!

  2. By Lauren on November 02, 2010

    What a cute book! Would love to read it. My daughter Kaitlyn is 3 now but her fits are pretty mild - she’s really quite easy-going, thank goodness. The best part is after a fit, when she tells me, “I am still MAD, mama. But I still love you.“


  3. By on November 02, 2010

    My son, who is just a few days older than your Sweet Pea, is the king of tantrums.  He mastered them a few months ago.  I thought that they were subsiding recently but I was wrong.  We have had too many tantrums to pick just one story!  More recently his fits involve fake cries.  You know them, the ones where they squeeze REALLY hard to muster up a tear.  Ah, the joys of parenthood.

  4. By on November 02, 2010

    want a story about my tantrums, or my daughter’s ? hehe.

    no, really, Alice just started doing that. so i don’t have (yet) a lot of stories.

    but i can remember my first mother’s tantrum. it was last winter. Alice was about 2 months old, and i couldn’t for the life of me make her fit properly into her snow-overall. she was just so tiny. and i was already dressed for a walk in -10C weather, and our dog was super excited and jumping on me non-stop, and my baby-carrier was chocking me, and my woolen scarf was itching me, and my took was pushing my glasses down my nose, and alice started crying, and i started sweating, and sweating…

    luckily my husband walked in the door at that moment, and took care of everybody so i could go outside and CHILL for a sec…

  5. By Sarah@Crazy Love Gamble-Style on November 02, 2010

    Ironically this subject is all I have been thinking about the last few days.  Our Halloween was a disaster.  Ava whom is usually known as “such a good sweet little girl” has had more frequent incidents of her head spinning around without and end in sight.  I never expected her to be like this.  I had heard the story of other kids…here is my Halloween post titled “Halloweens like this one deserved cocktails, and lots of them”

    I think we NEED this book.  : )

  6. By gretchen from lifenut on November 02, 2010

    This looks like a very fun book.

    Tantrum story: Our first child had her first big public tantrum/meltdown at 15 months old. She was dressed as a ballerina for Halloween. My husband and I took her to the local mall and let her walk from store to store. When we attempted to put her back into the stroller, she had an epic meltdown we still remember 12 years later.

    Sadly, we had no idea what to do because it was the first for all of us. I tried all the tantrum taming tricks from books and magazines, but nothing worked (...imagine that…). The three of us were miserable for the rest of the night.

  7. By Billea on November 02, 2010

    Sounds like such a cute book! I love how you described it, i was able ti imagine the small child dogie paddling in the sea of tears. Adorable!

  8. By Sara on November 02, 2010

    I have found that they best times to read to my daughter is during the slow moments. When we’re at the doctor’s office, the park, waiting in the car for daddy. I have aways carried a book with me (even my junior prom, eek!) and I hope Maggie does the same.

    As for a tantrum, I don’t have any yet. I’m sure they will come soon enough. :)

  9. By Whitney on November 02, 2010

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  10. By christy on November 02, 2010

    my son is only 3 months old but has tantrum throwing down pat.  lately, he’s been throwing tantrums in the car by crying.  not whiny crying, FULL OUT SCREAMING LIKE HE IS DYING CRYING.  honestly sometimes I think he will give himself a heart-attack.  and when we stop and get him out, boom crying stops in less than 10 seconds.  pathetic creature.

  11. By on November 02, 2010

    My favorite is actually about my husband (when he was younger).  His mom told him he wasn’t allowed to go to a friends house so he ran into his room and started destroying it.  She came in and watched as he ripped all of the books and toys off of the shelves and pulled the covers off of the bed and emptied out the dresser.  Then when he was done she told him that she hoped that he had fun cleaning it all up, and that he wouldn’t be eating any dinner until it was back to normal.  He said that is when he realized the futility of destructive tantrums.

  12. By Michelle on November 02, 2010

    Oh, what a fun book!  If I don’t win I’ll have to add it to my “must-have” list.  My 9-month old has already started throwing tantrums, and she. is. hilarious.  She’ll pitch them about anything, but it’s usually when she’s tired (of course), but she leans up against the couch and bangs her head against it while screaming.  Or she’ll sit down and lean her head down to the floor in front of her and “bang” (hard to do it too hard at that angle) her head against the floor while screaching/screaming.  It’s too funny…how do we not laugh at our children when they’re doing things they shouldn’t? :-)

  13. By christina on November 02, 2010

    Yesterday my 7 month old daughter threw a tantrum in a cafe because I tried to feed her. For some reason I thought she would concentrate on the feed better if I took away the library card she was holding. Oooo boy. We had screaming, back arching and leg thrashing. Evacuation required!

  14. By on November 02, 2010

    Tantrums are a daily occurrence around here with my 14 month old.  Ummm let’s see-today it was a melt down in Home Depot because I wouldn’t let him hold the mildew spray…  This book is a must for us!

  15. By Rebecca on November 02, 2010

    my little 10 month old has really got a personality… she gets sooo mad (already) if you take something that she has (but isn’t suppose to).
    the other day, she laid back, and grunted while straightening her legs…. I had to turn my head so she would not see me laughing… yes, i know, I won’t be laughing when she gets older.  :-)

    the books looks great, would love to read it!

  16. By Alicia S. on November 03, 2010

    I’ve been commenting on your blog now for about a year with little stories of my two and a half year old, Matthew whose always been a handful, but still very even tempered… I’d even venture to say mature for his age. But five weeks ago, Matthew became a big brother. And Dear God, let me tell you—hell hath no fury like a jealous toddler. He adores his little sister like there’s no tomorrow, but since she came home, he’s been out of his mind with emotions he doesn’t even understand. Tantrums have become an everyday occurrence.

    So the other day we took him out to the roller rink. It’s one of his favorite things to do, and he’s surprisingly coordinated at it. He hasn’t needed to hold my hand out on the rink for months, but this time, he didn’t want to let go and he was stumbling all over the place. He must have fallen three hundred times, but he wasn’t about to give in, and he didn’t want any help getting up either. The DJ announced over the intercom that it was time to clear the floor for one of the games and as you can imagine, this didn’t go over well. We always skate in the center of the rink which is left open for young children to practice skating back and forth on safely without getting in the way of the other - much older, MUCH faster - skaters. Well, Matthew lost it, and decided to outrun me on his skates! Out into the rush of oncoming skaters! In the opposite direction of traffic! Without a bit of fear in him, he threw himself out there into a sea of thirteen year olds blazing trails of what seemed like eighty miles an hour, and when I dove in after him, he immediately went for the limp body technique. Then, shockingly, (and this must have been from pure adrenaline) I was able to swoop him up like I had the strength of ten men before he even hit the ground, and whisk him out of the rink without making a dent in the flow of traffic.

    When I got him off the floor I did my best to explain to him over his fit of tears that he could have gotten very badly “squished,” as I skated, with him on my hip over to my husband. When my husband asked Matthew what was wrong, he sobbed into his shoulder, “Mommy didn’t let me get squished!! I WANT TO GET SQUISHED!!”

    You have no idea how much I want this book..

  17. By on November 03, 2010

    I just voted for you this am, thank you for writing, sharing and expressing so much on your blog!
    I thankfully have yet to experience a tantrum, my Katelyn is only 9 months old, I do know it is coming so a book would be great to share with her.

  18. By Erin Baum on November 03, 2010

    oh i was the QUEEN of tantrums when I was young. I would THROW things! Yikes.

    One story that stands out that my mom likes to remind me of frequently (and I do not remember this b/c I was too young) but she was in the mall and for one reason or another, i decided to throw a tantrum. i threw myself down on the floor and started screaming and crying and she turned her back and walked away (not too far away, mind you). I like to be dramatic I guess. And I’ll be honest - I can totally see myself doing this! Let’s hope future babies don’t take on my tantrum tendancies, although I KNOW they will happen!

  19. By on November 03, 2010

    My 23 month old son is pretty easygoing when it comes to toddlers.  But throw in some candy (or mom denying him of it for the past 23 months) and Halloween and we have ourselves a tantrum of epic proportions.  Full out screaming and crying about having to go to bed Halloween night because “I WANT CANDY!“ Finally(thankfully) sleep won the battle.  However, my mornings usually begin with a sweet little voice saying “mommy, where are you?“ but not Nov.1.  On said morning, I woke up to “Mom, I want candy RIGHT NOW!“ We have since hid the candy and told him it is all gone.

  20. By on November 04, 2010

    Please enter me today too ;)

  21. By on November 05, 2010

    Stopping by for a daily entry ;)

  22. By Erin Baum on November 05, 2010

    failed to comment yesterday for entry #2 so here it is on Friday! :-) Happy Day to YOU!

  23. By Janelle on November 07, 2010

    Probably the most hilarious tantrum episode I’ve experienced is when my daughter was 2. My mother-in-law decided to “help us out” by pulling up the shower mat and place it upside down with the suction cups up to dry out.  We didn’t realize this and filled the tub up like normal.  When we went to put our daughter in the tub she felt the suction cups and freaked out.  She refused to get in the tub for a whole week after that.  I thought that buying a new bathmat might help, so I took my daughter to WalMart and tried to have her help me pick out a new one.  She refused so I picked out a Dora one hoping she’d warm to the idea.  She had a huge blow up right there in the bath aisle and tried to throw the Dora bathmat out of the cart.  I’m sure the other shoppers were wondering what in the world was going on.

  24. By on November 11, 2010

    My early childhood classroom has seen many tantrums, including some growling, lots of crying & drooling on my pretty ABC rug, pencil-throwing, and back-talking.  I like to focus on the happier moments!

  25. By Botox on December 01, 2010

    I know that the giveaway is over, but I just wanted to say that you inspired me to go out and buy this book for my toddler.  I have a 16 month old daughter who is generally pretty easy going.  There are days though where she cries so loud about not getting what she wants or something else is going wrong that I am absolutely shocked that is coming from my daughter!  Everyone always stares when a child is throwing a tantrum, but I’d like to see what they will do when it happens to them! ;)





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