“Snotty Kid. Be Gone!”
“Young Ruthie’s mood changed overnight, her smiles slunk off in gloom.
She wouldn’t talk to Mom or Dad. She refused to leave her room.
Her parents scolded, begged and coaxed, but Ruthie paid no mind,
Her moods grew big and ugly – like some Hippo’s fat behind.”
At the end of my first read through, of “Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind,” by Margot Finke, I thought “this is perfect for so many of my kids!”
When Ruthie moved, and left all her friends and old home behind her personality and moods completely changed. She sulked, and became rude to her parents, argued, and had tantrums. Finally, she drove her parents crazy and her father said, “Snotty Kid. Be Gone!” Then, she had a Magic Moment that helped her reconcile with her parents. It ends on a positive note, and Ruthie feels happier.
Changes can affect children in many ways, especially a move far away from friends. Ruthie’s story is like so many children who deal with changes in every day life, and often parents become frustrated themselves. Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind, by Margot Finke, Illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a light hearted, realistic look at how children often express their emotions. The rhyming feels comfortable to read, and the story has a good pace. It kept my attention throughout. There is a short teacher/parent guide in the back to help adults talk to children about their feelings and also other resources for parents.
Many children who are angry, going through change or a move of any kind would benefit from this story. Ruthie captures these feelings on many levels, including showing anger through arguing and tantrums, and also sulking and feeling bad about herself. As a child therapist, I see many children go through lots of changes and reflect behaviors and emotions like Ruthie. I would recommend this book therapists and parents alike for any child going through change.