'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Review: Horrible Harriet and the Terrible Tantrum

Horrible Harriet turns 20 this year! 

Hip hip hooray for the cheekiest kid on the block!

And to celebrate, Harriet has decided it’s time for a change.

In Horrible Harriet and the Terrible Tantrum, Harriet is bored with being bad. 

She’s decided to be a good girl.

Mr Boggle, her teacher, has always thought she was good, but Harriet wants EVERYONE to think she’s good.

She tries really hard, but no matter what she does, it just doesn’t seem to convince her classmates that she’s changed. And Harriet thinks she knows why.

See, up in her room lives a terrible tantrum. Harriet keeps it locked in a cage because it cannot be controlled (smart girl!), but it is truly terrible. It’s rude and demanding and so, so naughty. It makes Harriet feel angry and mean.

And then one night, the terrible tantrum escapes. And not only does it escape. It takes Harriet’s seat in class! Can Horrible Harriet get the terrible tantrum back in its cage? Will Harriet’s classmates ever think she’s good?

This is a brilliant instalment in the Horrible Harriet picture book series, and I’m so delighted we get to jump back into Harriet’s world. Harriet is that character who speaks to all of us because, in so many ways, she is all of us. She is a little on the naughty side, but she is also vulnerable and insecure and just looking to make friends, and maybe finds it more difficult that she expected to connect with others.

What I love about this book is the ‘realness’ of the story. It is just so ‘kid’. The humour weaved throughout speaks to kids directly. It has the perfect amount of silliness, with a perfect dash of gross.

Leigh Hobbs is a super-loved Australian creator. An author and an illustrator, Hobbs has brought so many delightful characters to life, including Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona The Pig, Mr Badger, The Freaks in 4F and Mr Chicken. And, he was the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2016/2017.

Find out more about Leigh in our interview about what he's reading.

And check out more of his wonderful picture books by reading KBR reviews for Mr Chicken all Over Australia, Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma, Old Tom's Big Book of Beauty, Hooray for Horrible Harriet and Mr Chicken Lands in London.

Title: Horrible Harriet and the Terrible Tantrum
Author/Illustrator: Leigh Hobbs
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: September 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760878221
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Books