Something is amiss with the animals at the farm. Chelsea the chicken is very, very angry with the new brown chicken that has unexpectedly shown up and taken her spot on the fence. She is so angry that she doesn’t want to talk with or accept help from her friends, she just wants to find a way to get back at the newcomer and reclaim her place on the fence. But with the help of the other animals, and especially the good advice of her best friend, Pippa pork, she learns a healthy and reasonable way to deal with her anger and the situation. She even makes a new friend.
When I first downloaded this book on iBooks, I was skeptical Like so many of the free books there, the illustrations are very rigid and unartistic, and the story seemed more like a therapy session than an engaging bedtime experience. I almost tossed it into my virtual trashcan when I suddenly remembered, ‘hey, I have a daughter with anger management problems,’ and I decided to see how she liked the story and if it helped her. This book has narration you can play, which my daughter loves, even though and perhaps especially because the accents are a little silly (the author is foreign, you may have noted). It also has suggestions of things you can discuss with your kids as you read the story with them. I used those suggestions the first time through and it did help me make some interesting discoveries about my daughter’s understanding of how to deal with anger and difficult situations. She loves this book. It’s one of her favorites, actually. When one of us gets angry about something, she will say “Chelsea the chicken!” and we will have to cluck like a chicken and try to be reasonable instead of being angry. I wish I could say that this was a turning point in her emotional development, but it is not. Hopefully, though, it is one of a million small steps that will help her move toward finding healthy and productive strategies to deal with her emotions.
Jeroen van der Veen has several books available on iBooks, and they are all this same kind of thing- helping kids work through problems using animal stories. Check them out, they’re free!