Pig Wisdom: Anger Management
by B.J. Taylor
Trafford Publishing

"He told her that if she wanted to have friends, she would have to think nice thoughts, apologize to the farm animals, share with them, and take turns."

Social skills are not innate; children learn them gradually through years of observing the behavior of role models and trial-and-error interactions with peers. Parents who are looking for ways to help their youngsters cope with adverse social situations might try reading Taylor's picture book with them. Taylor's story begins by introducing Paityn and Paxtyn, two sisters who visit their grandparents' farm and meet some new friends. However, the sisters experience a few problems with their new friends' argumentative behavior. Granddad gives them another perspective by sharing a story about Mr. Pig, Ms. Goose, and their friends on the farm.

Ms. Goose has a reputation for being mean-spirited and argumentative. Rather than responding positively to the other animals' overtures of friendship, Ms. Goose always has ill-tempered criticism at the ready. Mr. Pig follows Ms. Goose and whispers words of advice to the animals she interacts with. The animals take Mr. Pig's advice and soon Ms. Goose finds that she has no one to play with. Mr. Pig helps her make friends again by teaching her the value of apologizing, compromising, and holding one's temper.

The book's richly colored illustrations will capture a child's attention, while the subject matter speaks to experiences so many children share. The book is geared toward helping children learn anger management techniques, such as counting to 10 and extracting oneself from an undesirable situation rather than arguing. However, Taylor's story provides useful lessons for those dealing with bullying. So many books address the subject of how children can best handle bullying; however, Taylor's story goes a step further by exploring the psychology of bullies themselves and how bullying makes them feel. It's never easy for parents to realize that their child is a bully; however, Taylor's story provides a useful conversation starter for correcting undesirable behaviors.

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