Max has a book called I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer that he loves. I never paid much attention to this book until the past couple months. He had me read it to him one night, and after that, I noticed that when he would get angry during the day, he would say, ‘I’m so mad mommy!’. The first time he said that it kind of took me by surprise because I couldn’t believe that he was verbalizing his feelings at 2 years old. Now he lets us know when he is mad, sad and happy. If we raise our voices at him, he scolds us and tells us that we made him sad by yelling. It puts us in check! For me, it’s a reminder that my tone really affects my children. That is something that can be taken for granted when you’re tired and your 3 year old is not listening to you and there’s a dog knocking down baby gates and two other toddlers climbing the couch. It can get hectic around here, and as much as I am conscientious of my tone, I definitely raise it from time to time. I am not a robot. I do the best I can. But thankfully, I have a really cool son who helps me empathize with him by saying how he feels and how a little book taught him to do so.
This book has had some bad reviews because at the end of the story, the boy doesn’t get his way and he packs a bag to run away. He ends up staying because his friends ask him to play and his mom says yes, so he says he’ll leave another day. Some parents think that is a bad example to suggest that leaving is an option when you’re unhappy. And to be honest, it did cross my mind also when we first read the book. But I guess because Max doesn’t concentrate on that part, I haven’t given it more attention. If running away does come up, I do want to talk about it because I am the queen of running away. Or I used to be. That is something I want to talk to my kids about thoroughly anyways, so maybe the book would be a good way to introduce the subject. Everybody is different.
Mercer Mayer was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1943. He started illustrating books in 1966 and started out making picture books without text. He has published over 300 books since then which I think is amazing! He is most known for his Little Critter Series and his Little Monster Series. He has a website that has everything on it from his bio to interactive games, print outs to color, his online store and more. He’s a pretty funny dude and you can see that by watching the videos of him reading his books to you. I like the books that I have read, and he has given my son the ability to articulate feelings which makes me a big fan of Mr. Mayer.
Has anyone else read any of his books?