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The Day No One Was Angry by Toon Tellegen, illustrated by Marc Boutavant

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This is such a pretty book. The illustrations are beautifully pastoral, the colours rich, the animals endearingly expressive. Many of them are also very grumpy. Some, however, are not grumpy enough, and the point this book is making is that anger is sometimes a necessary and inescapable part of life. Be angry! It urges. But not all the time, because that would be silly.

Some of these animals find themselves sunk deep in an existential crisis. Others struggle to manage their rage. Often they find a way to be angry and still live well. Not all of them, though (Hyrax and Aardvark, I mean you).

This really isn't a typical children's book. The elegantly written stories are structured like fables but are complex and layered examinations of the human (or squirrel, or hedgehog) condition. They are also very funny (The Lobster is my favourite).

Buy it for an intelligent child of seven or older. Or buy it for an intelligent adult. It's cheaper than an anger management course.

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