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School Library Journal says of When Miles Got Mad is “a solid choice for caregivers to share with children when discussing handling strong emotions”!

While playing together, little brother Max grabs Miles’s model airplane and accidentally breaks it. Enraged, the older boy yells and scares Max, who flees to Mom. Miles finds that his reflection in the mirror has changed into a furry red monster that advises him to talk through his anger, and he does, until it dissipates.

This book is based on a screenplay for “Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show,” a DVD/download series aimed at helping preschoolers learn social-emotional skills. Its purpose is bibliotherapeutic, and it achieves its goal without condescension by describing Miles’s emotional and physical states in a matter-of-fact way.

When Miles gets mad, “His cheeks got BURNING HOT. His chest felt tight. His hands CURLED INTO FISTS.” His chat with the monster in the mirror lets readers listen in on the internal dialogue between his emotional side and his rational side; that Miles calms himself down without adult intervention is empowering.

Simple color cartoon illustrations are set against a backdrop of sepia photographic settings, which is visually interesting without being distracting, and emphasizes the connection between the story and real life. A note for adults explains the importance of children verbalizing their feelings and provides information about the mission of The Mother Company and Ruby’s Studio.

A solid choice for caregivers to share with children when discussing handling strong emotions.

—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B’nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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