Creative Counsel for Children When They Are Angry (Book Review)

Powlison, David (ed.). Jax’s Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2018. 32 pages.

There is always a need for biblical counseling in the church. Whether it is a couple trying to save their marriage or parents dealing with their wayward teenager, the ministry of biblical counseling serves as a guide to counsel from God’s Word. Married couples and parents need it. Teenagers ought to heed it. But what about younger kids? Oftentimes, the scope of biblical counseling seems to apply to only adults and teenagers. Yet, as Christians who believe the Bible applies to all of life for all stages of life, doesn’t God’s Word give direction and counsel for children too? The publishers of New Growth Press believe so and have put forth biblical counseling for kids in their new “Good News For Little Hearts” children’s book series.

Jax Squirrel and the Problem of Anger

In this volume of the series, Jax’s Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry, we meet Jax and the Squirrel family as they prepare to gather acorns for the winter. The book opens with Jax and his brother, Caspian, arguing. Jax’s anger is on display from the beginning. When it comes time for the family to go out and gather acorns, Jax and Caspian get into another spat and Jax, in anger, begins fighting with his brother. This story doesn’t only highlight Jax’s anger. The anger of the whole Squirrel family comes to the light as they meet and argue with the McNuffle family over acorns. After these incidents, Papa Squirrel realizes his wrongful response of anger and uses it as a lesson to teach his family from the “Great Book” on how anger arises out of each of their hearts because of what they want and why anger does not produce the right and good life God wants them to have. He shows them from the “Great Book” that when they get angry, they need to apologize and ask for forgiveness and they can be forgiven because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for sinners. Each member of the Squirrel family, including Jax, ask each other for forgiveness and reconcile with the McNuffle family as they remember forgiveness comes through Jesus Christ.

Creatively Counseling Children on Anger

Jax’s Tail Twitches, edited by David Powlison and illustrated by Joe Hox, uses this story about Jax’s tail twitching to teach children an important lesson on dealing with anger. The book uses the imagery and characters of this story to creatively counsel children from God’s Word when they are angry. This tale does not end with a mere moral lesson either. Biblical counselor David Powlison makes sure to show we can be forgiven when we confess our anger based on the good news of Jesus Christ. This book and series show biblical counseling is not just for big people; it is for little hearts as well. It is biblical counseling for elementary-aged kids. This book is so much more than a book, though. Parents will appreciate the resources found in the back of the book, including a list of how to help their child with anger as well as back pocket Bible verses to cut out or copy for their children to use. If you are a parent who has a child that struggles with anger and you are unsure how to confront this problem, begin the conversation by taking them through Jax’s Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry today!

I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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