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It is ok to be upset a while is something we may want to tell children that could enable them to handle their emotions better than holding it all up. This book with superb illustration makes it all easier.
I understand the message this book is conveying. I do. It's ok to be you, and you won't always be happy. I get that...but the way this story is portrayed is very disappointing. I bought this for my 7 yr old niece who was born with a hole in her brain. She is mentally and physically handicapped, not in ways you'd notice right off the bat but she is definitely a very grumpy child who is more irrational than most, if you can even imagine that.
The story line for this book is very disappointing, for one reason. It starts out with a grumpy Jim. He's grumpy & doesn't know why. He essentially lashes out to all his friends in the jungle who are trying to help him feel better and turn around his mood, then runs off on his own feeling bad about being mean to his friends....and that's really it! HE NEVER APOLOGIES to his friends who were just trying to help him! To me that sends such a bad message. You can send the message, it's ok to be grumpy sometimes but still be respectful to your friends or at least show that it's wrong to lash out! Very disappointing message here. I'm hesitant to even give this book to my niece. Not sure if I'll be keeping this one, it just doesn't seem like a right fit to me.
The book itself, is very well constructed. It is definitely not a cheap book by any means. This seems like the quality of something you'd buy at Barnes & Noble but spend $30 instead of $10. The illustration isn't that great. It starts out with very vibrant colors but quickly dulls down to flat and dark colors for mostly the remainder fo the book.
Overall, I'm very disappointed with this book because of the message it sends. They had a great opportunity to show that sometimes you need to apologise for being mean when you're grumpy.
As a school librarian, health and wellness teacher, voracious reader, and grandmother, I often think about reviewing a book, but there are so many other things to do. I HAD to write about this one. The message is powerful and communicated in a humorous, undidactic manner, in large part thanks to the deeply appealing, funny and poignant illustrations. It would be hard to find someone who couldn't relate to Jim Panzee. I LOVE this book.
As an adult, if you ever have had one of those days, where you just feel out of sorts, than this is a great book to read to children to help them feel its okay too, to feel what they are feeling, with the understanding that they feel supported no matter what.