The Fascinating and the Furious
Most of us have days when we just get mad. We don’t know why. We don’t know who is to blame. And we don’t know what to do about it. That’s what happens to Angus, a young white boy who wakes up one morning mad at everything and everyone. Eventually, he decides to pack his bags and run away from home. His plan is working well until he realizes he is on his own in the city for the first time surrounded by strangers and he has forgotten to pack a lunch. What he wouldn’t give for a sardine sandwich! With the possible exception of desperately desiring sardine sandwiches, we’ve all been there.
In addition to the emotional resonances many children will find with Angus, the most compelling aspect of the book is the size relationships between Angus and his surroundings. As he becomes more angry, he grows bigger so that by the time he runs away from home, he is able to bound over entire city blocks. Further from the comforts of home, however, he begins to feel—and look—quite small. Kulikov’s expressive illustrations are fascinating to young readers and in my experience, have prompted multiple conversations about what anger feels like and how to deal with it.
Like Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry, Come Home Angus is about the common experience of a young child who needs to deal with anger. It works well as a read-aloud to both groups and individuals, and I would recommend pairing it with other books about anger, such as Gail Silver and Christianne Kromer’s Anh’s Anger to enrich the discussion.
Emotionally resonant story