My No, No, No Day! (aka My Big Shouting Day!) by Rebecca Patterson

Life with kids is never short for drama, especially when they’re little and still learning how to manage their emotions and communicate effectively. After all, it’s not for nothing that people came up with the term ‘terrible twos’, since, speaking from personal experience, 2-year-olds seem to be most prone to throwing dramatic tantrums. (Of course, this is not to say that they don’t have angelic days, or that older kids don’t act out from time to time.) Thus, My No No No Day is a highly relatable and comical (in a if-you’re-not-living-through-it way) depiction of a little girl, Bella, who’s having an unusually difficult day where nothing seems to go right — at least in her books.

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It’s always easier to be objective when one is a neutral third party, so the somewhat exaggerated but still familiar scenarios in the story are an effective way to get kids to think about whether such meltdowns are acceptable — the disapproving looks of the bystanders (and even various animals!) in the illustrations also help to reinforce the message subliminally. The first-person woe-is-me precocious voice of the girl and the illustrations are hilarious, which makes the story less didactic and, hence, more effective.

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But as the book reminds us, even the worst no-no-no days don’t last forever, and every day is a new day that offers us all a fresh — and hopefully better — start.

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