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Friday, October 14, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns It's OK to Back Away

BOOK TITLE: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns It's OK to Back Away
SERIES: Howard B. Wigglebottom, Book #5
AUTHOR: Howard Binkow
ILLUSTRATOR: Susan F. Cornelison
PUBLISHER: Thunderbolt Publishing
DATE OF PUBLICATION: September 30, 2010
FORMAT: Hardcover, 32 pages
GENRE: Children's Picture Books
ISBN: 978-0982616505


This fun and entertaining illustrated picture book shows 4-8 year old children how to handle anger issues and back away from conflicts. The story teaches important skills through humor and real life situations with which young children can immediately identify. There are several suggestions for lessons and reflections at the end of the book. This is the fifth in the award winning, teacher endorsed, Howard B. Wigglebottom book series.


I received this book for review from the author. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

I read this book aloud to my children.

I love the name of the rabbit, Howard B. Wigglebottom. It's cute, it's funny, and accurately describes my kids who can't seem to sit still! 

Howard gets taken to the principal's office at school because he does the wrong things when he does not get his way. Even when he returns home, he is still in a time-out. Howard's friend, Ali, stops by. He asks her why she doesn't get angry, and she tells him that she does just like everyone else. She said that her tummy gets all tight when she doesn't get her way and that she tells herself to "Stop; it's OK to back away," before she does the wrong thing. Then, Ali goes out and does something to feel good again, such as; jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, yelling, or counting. With Ali's help, Howard learns to redirect his anger.

We, too, do time-outs in our household for inappropriate behaviour and that includes when they are having a tantrum. The kids are more than welcome to rejoin the household once they have cooled off. I agree with the "back away" aspect of the book's lesson. In the suggestions for lessons and reflections at the back of the book, Binkow suggests listening to our tummies which might feel "tight or shaky or upset." That part of the lesson was a little hard for my kids to grasp, especially my 3 year-old. Speaking for myself, I don't generally get an upset tummy when I'm angry. Rather, my heart gets pumping and my face usually gets red!

We see a different side of Howard in this book. In the previous one we read (Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows), we see Howard as more of a "hero." In this one, Ali is the "hero" and Howard is the one that needs her help. I love that Binkow shows the "give-and-take" of the friendship between Howard and Ali and that nobody (not even cute Howard B. Wigglebottom) is perfect!

My kids really like Cornelison's illustrations. My 3 year-old especially got a kick out of seeing Howard's angry "Ninja Bunny" face.

Overall, I really liked this book but not as much as the other Binkow book that we just read (Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Mud and Rainbows). One thing in particular that I really like about this series is that it stimulates further discussion with my kids *after* we have read the book. Any book that does that gets my thumbs-up!

Although this is Book #5 of the series, each story is independent and can be read out of order.

MY RATING: 4 stars!! We really liked this book and recommend it!

This book qualifies as:
#93 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge


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