Exploding with humour and very BIG FEELINGS, the relatable Scarlett Fife will quickly become a firm friend of readers of 7+.
Scarlett Fife has some very BIG FEELINGS, so big in fact that they sometimes just explode out of her. After an untimely incident at her aunt’s engagement party, she must suffer the consequences of ‘Mumishments’ and the threat of not being taken to Super Mega Awesome Sticky Fun World to ride the Guts-a-Churno coaster. But the more Scarlett tries to keep the anger in, the more it wants to come out…in the most explosive of ways. Can Scarlett take control of her feelings…
A book that opens with the line, “I AM SO ANGRY I THINK MY BUM MIGHT FALL OFF,” is going to grab the attention of any reader and it took me a good few seconds to stop laughing. Maz Evans delivers a laugh-out-loud read that is exploding with humour and all of the things that matter to children whilst at the same time exploring big emotions and necessary coping strategies.
Nearly ten-year-old Scarlett is brilliant. Her sharp and witty take on everyday grown-up situations and her misunderstandings are hilarious. Equally sharp are Scarlett’s frustrations at the daily challenges of life and the total unfairness of important things like having to be a goat in the Christmas play, not getting enough Positivity Points to take the school hamster home or not being able to have a birthday party at Stuff-a-Squishie. Life is very annoying and this makes Scarlett get very, very angry and when the the bubbly anger bubbles up inside her strange things happen, or more precisely, things explode - drinks, elephant poo, paint!
Through humour and everyday situations, Evans helps children to understand that it is very normal to experience big feelings and that anger is a perfectly acceptable emotion, and - in some instances - is an important emotion to feel as it can be a precursor for positive change. With many anger provoking situations, Scarlett most definitely has her work cut out. But in Maisie, Aunty Rosa, Aunty Amara and grandma she has a great support network offering all kinds of useful advice. By the end, readers - like Scarlett - will understand the importance of talking and will have strategies for dealing with anger rather than bottling it up inside.
The book is incredibly diverse and many children will see themselves and their lives represented. Scarlett’s parents are amicably divorced. She has a Polish step-dad and a real dad with a prosthetic arm (sometimes mistaken for a ‘Prosecco arm’). Her Aunty Rosa is getting married to Amara, giving Scarlett another aunty. Best friend Maisie is a foster kid, new girl Polly only has her mum (her dad has died) and Karam is a refugee from a war-torn country.
I award Maz Evans all of the positivity points, she can keep Mr. Nibbles for as long as she likes unless Ms. Pitt-Bull says otherwise!
Recommended for 7+.
With thanks to Maz Evans and Hachette Children’s for the advanced reader copy that was received through NetGalley.