Meet Roger. Roger is crabby. According to Roger’s older brother, Roger is a crabby pants. Sometimes things don’t go Roger‘s way, and that makes him crabby. Sometimes Roger’s older brother eats the last frozen waffle, so Roger has to eat cereal. Sometimes the school field trip gets cancelled, and this makes Roger crabby too. Roger is crabby a lot. He ends up getting punished for being so crabby, and has to sit in the naughty chair. Roger doesn’t understand why he is always so crabby! Then he gets an idea. Every time that he is crabby, he is wearing the same pants. His brother told him that he had crabby pants! It must be the pants. The pants must be crabby pants and they are making him feel crabby. Roger knows what he needs to do now, and he has to do it quickly.
Crabby pants, written by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Richard Watson, is a hilarious picture book. It would be great to read to children ages four to seven when they are having an especially crabby day. There are plenty of amazing books already written that discuss emotions and how to properly handle them for children. This book, however, stands out in that it focuses less on how to solve problems and instead gives a hilarious take on a very bad day. It is sure to make kids laugh, which will quickly improve their crabby mood.
After reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel that it would be a great book to read to children who have emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). I’ve worked with children before who didn’t understand exactly what they were feeling when they were angry. In fact, it is shown that young children often do not realize what anger is or how to verbalize it. One great way to help these children better understand their feelings is by giving them a tangible object to ‘place’ their anger in. For example, after the movie Inside Out came out, many children with EBDs started to carry around stuffed animals of the character Anger around. When the child felt angry, they were prompted to take a deep breath and ‘put their anger away’ into the stuffed animal, helping them discard these feelings. Although slightly less practical (unless you are at home), I feel that the same concept can be applied to changing out of your crabby pants to remove your crabby feelings. Either way, this story is a hilarious one and a great read for both parents and children.