Fred Gets Frustrated
Jennifer C. Kelly (Author): Stephen Stone (Illustrator)
Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/2022)
I will say, right off the bat, that all adults out there are going to perfectly understand Fred. We have all had “those” days. Think about it: losing the keys to your car, a flat tire, going to the store and not being able to find the one thing your household needs…yes, we get frustrated. Angry, even—an emotion we need to talk to our children about so their temper never gets too high and ruins their day…or anyone else’s. Fred is the same way. He gets upset when things aren’t working correctly; however, he uses his sense of humor, his friends, and projects – like baking cookies with his friend, Cali the cat, to transform a bad situation into one that’s peaceful and friendly.
The pictures in this are absolutely adorable, as well, and the illustrator should be complimented for drawing a “cast of characters” that are beyond memorable. Adults can get as much entertainment and joy out of this story as their kids do when it’s shared with them. Fred is the perfect guy to show how to cope with a rough day or moment by using his love of jokes, his fish, Bubbly, and knowledge of his own emotions to kick his frustration to the curb.
There is real emotional intelligence in this one, guys and gals. Fred shows how you get upset, but he also gives you the tools to calm down. Everything from listening to music, to reading a good book, to simply taking three seconds to breathe and clear his head before going any further, Fred does. The author and illustrator even combine to give you information on how to create-your-own “calm down box” that includes supplies for arts and crafts, and more.
Created for children ages 4 through 10, Fred and his gang will have no problem engaging readers, and the book is perfect for parents, homeschoolers, educators, even therapists who wish to speak about curbing tempers and how to make life a whole heck of a lot more fun and pleasing for everyone. Readers can even get news and updates in regard to Fred and his path through life when signing up on www.fredthefrog.net. Your child receives a free Calm Down Worksheet that you can review with them, and download the companion Calming Toolkit.
From both a reader and a mom’s standpoint, this is a book that offers simple, easy-to-understand ways for children to manage these very real feelings of anger and frustration, allowing your kids to turn a horrible situation into a truly great day. This is a definite “must read” to have in the house or the classroom. Great job!