Clovis Keeps His Cool by Katelyn Aronson, illustrated by Eve Farb

Published on May 04, 2022

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Clovis Keeps His Cool- written by Katelyn Aronson and illustrated by Eve Farb

Reviewed by Elizabeth DeVincenzo


Clovis is a bull who works in his grandmother’s china shop.   Clovis is very careful when handling all the porcelain in the shop, never dropping one cup or dish.   However, Clovis “had a temper as big as he was”.  As a former football player, he would lose his temper both on and off the field.   Clovis is much calmer since taking over his grandmother’s shop until one day when some old rival players stop by and begin to taunt and heckle him.   Using breathing techniques and counting to 10, Clovis does not react or become angry and his tormentors move on.   The next day Clovis is dusting while listening to soothing music and meditating in the lotus position, when his tormentors come back.  Again, Clovis resists losing his temper and pets his cat to calm down and the hecklers leave.     On display day, Clovis lights a lavender-scented candle, drinks some chamomile tea, and begins to work.   Once again, the tormentors return and this time they go too far, when they break his grandmother’s once favorite tea cup and taunt him.  Full of anger, Clovis charges through his grandmother’s shop (breaking everything) and chases his hecklers into a dark alley.  Just as he is about to charge into his hecklers, he notices a tea bag hanging from one of his horns and he hears his grandmother’s voice in his head, “My dear… Grace, Grace.  What is broken can be replaced.”  Remembering her gentle words, Clovis calms down and offers his enemies a cup of tea.   They all return to the shop and drink their tea in silence. No longer rivals with Clovis, the hecklers realize they are all on the same team. The next day, the hecklers return, instead of taunting Clovis, they help him clean the shop.   Clovis’ former rivals are now friends.   This picture book teaches children how to control their tempers and not become reactive when something upsets them.  It also teaches children to accept and become friends with those who are different from yourself.   An excellent companion book to the classic “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf.    Also recommended for introducing young children to the concept of mindfulness.

Target audience:  Ages 4-8

Kirkus Review-  Starred Review- June 2021


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