Written and illustrated by Vinayak Varma. This picture book is one of the two books chosen by its publisher Pratham Books to be read to thousands of children across India during its One Day One Story campaign for World Literacy Day.
When the last school bell rang, all the children laughed and screamed with joy.
All, except Akku. Akku was ANGRY!
“Akku! Akku! Look at the pretty sunflowers!” said Appa, as they rode through a field.
“GRRMPH! They’re TOO YELLOW! They’re making my eyes hurt!” said Akku.
“Akku! Akku! Look! Look at all the monkeys!” said Appa, pointing at the roof of their house.
“CHEEE!” said Akku. “SHOOO! Go AWAY! SHOOO!”
“Here, drink some buttermilk,” said Appa. “It’ll cool you down.”
“HRRRM!” said Akku. “I DON’T WANT ANY!”
“Try a sip, at least?”
“OKAY! FINE!” said Akku, and tried a sip.
It wasn’t all that bad. She had another sip. And another. In no time, the glass was empty.
“Would you like a vada?” asked Appa.
“FFEHH!” said Akku.
“Just one little bite?”
“Okay, FINE!” said Akku, and took a bite. It was quite good.
She took another bite. And another. In no time, the plate was empty.
“Good girl,” said Appa. “Now will you tell me why you’re so angry?”
“NO!” said Akku.
“Was it something I did?”
“Was it something Amma did?”
“Did something bad happen in school today?”
“Would you like to draw it?” asked Appa. “Here’s a nice sheet of paper and some crayons.”
“Okay, FINE!” said Akku.
Akku drew a brick…
“This is the STUPID BRICK that I tripped over this morning,” said Akku.
“You’re right. That IS a VERY STUPID brick!” said Appa.
And Akku drew a boy…
“This is Bikku, a VERY BAD BOY! He laughed when I fell down!” said Akku.
“You’re right,” said Appa. “He shouldn’t have laughed at you.”
And Akku drew an idli…
“This is my idli,” said Akku. “It fell out of my lunch box when I tripped over the STUPID BRICK!”
And Akku drew a crow…
“This is the VERY BAD CROW that flew off with my idli,” said Akku.
“The crow must have been very hungry,” said Appa.
And Akku drew her teacher…
“This is my teacher, Amala Miss,” said Akku.”She helped me up when I fell down. And then she hugged me.”
“That’s nice of her,” said Appa.
“And then she pinched my cheeks. I DON’T LIKE IT when my cheeks are pinched.”
“Oho! That must have HURT, no?”
“A little bit. But I’m okay now.”
“See how well you draw, Akku?” said Appa.
“You’re a real artist! Will you draw something for Amma too?”
“OH-kay!” said Akku, and started drawing some more.
“This is a little white mouse… and this is a boat… and this is a coconut tree…”
“And this is a sunflower… and this is your cycle, Appa… and this is a dog… and this is a frog…”
In no time, Akku had forgotten all about the STUPID BRICK that made her trip and fall. And about the BAD BOY who laughed at her. And about the IDLI-STEALING CROW.
And Akku even forgot about being ANGRY.
10 Things to Do If You Feel ANGRY like Akku:
1. Laugh loudly and jump around with your arms in the air!
2. Slowly – very, very slowly – breathe in, and breathe out!
3. Drink some water! Or buttermilk!
4. Eat a piece of fruit! Or a vada!
5. Tell a grown-up about how you’re feeling!
6. Write about how you’re feeling!
7. Draw it out! Paint it!
8. Play with a pile of clay!
9. Make up a song about your anger! Sing it aloud!
10. Dance like a monkey!
(Published with permission from Pratham Books)
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