Spinky Sulks

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
Spinky Sulks Book Poster Image
Gets inside sulking 8-year-old's head.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reads like a transcript from an 8-year-old sulker's head.

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What's the story?

Spinky gives a command performance--the sulk to end all sulks--in this tip of the hat to children's feelings from William Steig. What's a kid to do when his pride is trifled with? No sister of his is gonna call him Stinky, and Philadelphia is too the capital of Belgium. Spinky plays his funk like a maestro.


Is it any good?

William Steig gets everything right: the syntax, the feelings, the expressions on the faces of the Spinkster and those trying to deprogram his funk. The look on his face when his pals come to cheer him up is positively murderous. Spinky is in what can only be described as a delicious sulk -- one a mile wide and deep as a rich man's pockets. He'll teach them that he's "a person with his own private thoughts and feelings, which they couldn't begin to appreciate."

Though the artwork will steal your heart, it is the words that are spot-on and memorable: "His favorite grandma just happened to stop by with some of his favorite candy. She gave him a big fat hug, but Spinky went limp in her arms. After all, she still belonged to the human race, for which he no longer had any use."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Spinky's sulk. Do you understand why he's so grumpy? Does anyone else? What can you do when you're in a sulking mood? Can anyone help you cheer up?

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