SteigFEST 5: Spinky Sulks


Publisher: Farra, Straus and Giroux, 1988, 1st ed.
Ages: 4-8yrs
Themes: humorous stories, family life, anger
Opening: Spinky came charging out of the house and flung himself on the grass.
Summary: Spinky is convinced that his family hates him and goes off to sulk in his hammock. His brother and sister try to make amends. His mom even brings him a beautiful tray of food. But nothing can get Spinky to stop sulking—not even a circus passing by on his street! Will Spinky ever cheer up? Spinky Sulks is another delightful tale from the incomparable William Steig that will leave readers of all ages smiling.


I like this book because: I have vivid memories of feeling that same kind of all-the-world-against-me anger, of hiding, as per usual, under the middle pine tree for as long as need be. As a parent I can laugh at the familiar attempts made and lengths taken, over-stretched, to console the poor child. There were times we were not even allowed to look at my oldest at the breakfast table – but we can all laugh now!


Resources/activities: great discussion starter on feelings, anger, moodiness, cheering up a friend or letting them have their space, and how we might help ourselves when a bad mood is coming on. For adults, writers especially: read this post on Neruda and his childhood realization about our ‘longing for mutuality that impels us to make art’, at Brain Pickings –HERE

SpinkySulksToday’s tidbit: Letters of Note post on Steig’s Caldecott acceptance speech and glossophobia- HERE


10 thoughts on “SteigFEST 5: Spinky Sulks

  1. I wasn’t a sulker as a child. Traditional Chinese families have no qualms about beating the crap out of a misbehaving child, so I didn’t misbehave too much (except for whining for ice cream). 🙂 Luckily for me, neither of my kids ever sulked either. Phew! But this book looks funny; I love that picture of the mother trying to placate the child in the hammock.

    Liked by 1 person

      • No, I don’t beat my kids (I’m not traditional Chinese even though I’m on first generation North American). I remember well the beatings my mom gave me and my sister, and I don’t think it’s the way to raise kids. 🙂

        Chickens are Zen inducers. Glad you get to chicken-sit again. Your neighbors are lucky to have you to look after them too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s