We’ve all had them – those Big Shouting Days when nothing seems to go right – so what a relief to finally have a book that tells it like it really is!

In this instance, Bella has started the day with her mother and baby brother, Bob, completely on the wrong foot, and she is going to make sure everybody knows about it. There’s the horrible egg at breakfast, then the peas that are “too hot”, ballet, which is “too itchy”, and on it goes until finally it is time for Bella’s bath – which is too cold, of course – and bedtime, when a terrifying tidal wave of tantrumming emotions overwhelm our little heroine and she dissolves into a deluge of despair. The utterly exhausted look on her mother’s face says it all! Oh, we know those days too, too well.

Upon seeing this book for the first time, I recall the horror! Good grief, was my thinking, this book celebrating all things tantrum-like will be upheld by my two-year-old as reasoning for his very own Big Shouting Days… Nonetheless, we took the risk and read it one night after his own bath had been deemed “too cold” (despite it being steamy hot) and his toothpaste “too minty” (despite failing to even make it to his toothbrush). But miracle of miracles, once we started screaming our way through Bella’s story, Mr Two suddenly saw the funny side to his own behaviour and settled happily into bed saying that “maybe we will be more cheerful tomorrow”. Since then, this has been a frequently requested tale (by both parent and child).

Sometimes it’s only when we see our behaviour set out in black and white – or in this instance, delicious reds, greens and blues – that we get some perspective on what is really going on; and that goes for two-year-olds just as much as 20-year-olds. So the verdict? We ALL love My Big Shouting Day

My Big Shouting Day – published as My No No No Day in the US – also took out the top prize for the funniest book in the six-and-under category of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012, as judged by the 250 or so pupils invited to participate in the awards. So that has to give it some serious clout (ironically) in the child-influencing stakes.

Author Notes Rebecca Patterson explains that the seed of her stories frequently originates from games or something made up in the back of a car to amuse a child. And we can see just how that came about with this fabulously funny rendition of a toddler’s meltdown. Rebecca originally studied fashion at university due to a love of fashion illustration, which is evident in her illustrations with their strong outlines filled with confident bursts of colour. After graduating, she worked at an assortment of jobs, including being an classroom assistant in a primary school, while sending out manuscripts for picture books. Once her own children had started school, Rebecca began an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art; her first picture books were commissioned at the end of the course.

Fun Fact Other books that were on the Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlist 2012 included Oh No, George!, The Pirates Next Door, Stuck and The Worst Princess… (and please do leave us a comment on which one makes your children laugh!)