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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Angry Words Pop Out: Love Trumps All in New Picture Book By Robie Harris

September 23, 2008

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ — The moment those dreaded words — “I hate you!” — pop out of a young child’s mouth, almost every child wishes they had never been said. In The Day Leo Said, “I Hate You!” (Little, Brown), renowned author Robie Harris shows how strong but perfectly normal feelings like anger and frustration can lead to such outbursts, and how one child and his mother successfully deal with those feelings and ultimately reaffirm their love. In a few pages and in a caring and reassuring manner, Harris and three-time Caldecott Honor illustrator Molly Bang convey some big emotional truths about the inner lives of young children.

Leo hates it when Mommy says “No,” and today it feels like she just won’t stop saying it. Leo’s angry and frustrated. But when the words “I hate you!” pop out of his mouth, he instantly wishes he could stuff them back in. Then his biggest fear sets in: Will Mommy hate him for saying those three words?

The mother in The Day Leo Said, “I Hate You!” handles the moment beautifully, explaining to Leo that while words have the power to hurt others, she never stops loving him, even when he expresses strong, angry feelings. It’s a powerful lesson about empathy and love, one that affirms Leo’s inner experience and leads him–and the book’s audience–toward greater emotional understanding. Once Leo’s anger is acknowledged and dealt with, he can bond with Mommy over their hatred of broccoli and runny noses. In a sweetly satisfying ending, Leo draws a loving picture of Mommy.

The Day Leo Said, “I Hate You!” pairs Harris for the first time with Molly Bang, whose illustrations add depth and emotional resonance to a story that’s both entertaining and comforting.

Robie Harris, http://www.robieharris.com/, is known for portraying the emotional lives of young children with wisdom, honesty, and humor. A master at expressing complex emotions with simple language and a compelling story, Harris helps kids and their parents understand and deal with strong, but perfectly normal feelings like anger and jealousy. By creating characters who express and move through these feelings, Harris’ candid, insightful–and at moments humorous–stories reaffirm the importance of love and acceptance in human relationships.

Robie Harris

CONTACT: Raab Associates Inc. for Robie Harris, +1-914-241-2117,info@raabassociates.com

Web Site: http://www.robieharris.com/