No One is Angry Today


Cricket considers leaving Bear off his birthday party list. After all, he pushes to be first to the honey cake, falls asleep through the speeches and snores. Will Cricket tell Bear the truth?

The other animals do not face up to Snake’s fury and hostility. Their cheer makes him even more angry. Meanwhile Squirrel considers whether he’ll get cross when Elephant steps on his toes while they’re dancing. After all, it’s likely to happen. Then again, how might he answer when Elephant suggests ‘I’d like to dance like this forever‘….

What will be the reaction to Praying Mantis’ appearance at the party? After all her hat’s bashed in and her gown is torn. Can she face up to the crowd’s scorn? Is it possible something surprising might happen with her new-found confidence?

Toon Tellegen contemplates human behaviour, reactions and feelings in No One is Angry Today. This is a contemplative, measured piece, a series of individual stories within a picture book, illustrated by Marc Boutavant.

Repeated readings confirm my feelings that this book is one that should be read and discussed at home, and then within classrooms and philosophy sessions. There is much to enquire about and consider. No One is Angry Today is a mature and meaningful title, translated from its original Dutch by New Zealand publisher, Gecko Press.

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No One is Angry Today

Toon Tellegen and Marc Boutavant

(Gecko Press)– hardback

No One is Angry Today. It seems that when Firebelly Toad tears ‘all of the quills from’ hedgehog’s back’, Hedgehog’s not truly furious. Nor is Snail cross when Toad twists his horn. What’s more Frog’s glued mouth doesn’t inspire real fury either, it seems. Although Elephant says he’s steaming when his trunk is tied ‘in a very big knot‘ and grasshopper’s torn coat leaves that creature hopping mad, Firebelly Toad declares neither to be furious.  Therefore, what is happening? Is Firebelly Toad seeking to provoke everyone into real anger? Do any of the creatures have it within them to ‘feel real anger’?
This is the first story in a contemplative picture book of stories of feelings from Toon Tellegen. Thereafter, Squirrel considers his feelings about Ant with his four walls. He things that ‘things sometimes seem more real than they are’. That includes predicting outcomes in friendships. Then again, Snake’s fury is focused upon his birthday and thereafter the other animals. How can Snake lose his anger?
Each story is illustrated by Marc Boutavant of The Case of the Missing Cake. There is depth and density in his settings and authenticity to this animal characters. Furthermore, although each of these stories includes animals, they experience human emotions and confusions. It seems that No One is Angry Today is a very mature picture book, in that its themes are those that suggest a need for reading, thinking and then discussion. They make us wonder how we feel, why we feel the way we do and then how we might be more like the animals whom Firebelly Toad seeks to provoke.


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