Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review: Finn Throws a Fit! by David Elliott, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering

Book: Finn Throws a Fit!
Author: David Elliott
Illustrator: Timothy Basil Ering
Published: 2009
Source: Local Library

Nobody knows just what set him off. (Usually he likes peaches.) But Finn is Not Happy, and he’s not afraid to let the world know. Thunder in the nursery! Lightning in the kitchen! Batten down the hatches, people, because Finn is throwing a fit.

This book has gotten a little flak for its apparently illogical plot. Why does Finn throw his fit? Why does he stop? It's just not clear! But for my money, this is spot-on. Toddler tantrums are rarely logical, either in their inception or their termination, and it's not meant to be an in-depth examination of the whys and wherefores of Finn's fit, but an illustration of the feelings that everyone goes through while it's going on. Anybody who’s ever had a toddler will recognize and sympathize with the hapless parents, caught in the midst of their small son’s fury. It overtakes the house and everyone in it. Ering’s charcoal and oil illustrations use swirling lines and jagged edges to accentuate the explosive emotions that Finn expresses so fearlessly.

Want a psychological study of the toddler brain? This isn't it. Want an instantly recognizable portrait of life with a toddler? Pick this up.

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