the day leo said i hate you

Leo is having a bad day. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble. He gets so upset at having to be told "no" all day that he finally screams back at his Mom. He tells her he hates her. He feels bad right away and knows he has to do something. Leo and his mom work through his feelings together.
Educational Themes:
Although there are no demonstrated consequences for Leo, there are opportunities to go beyond the story and talk about choices in real life. There are plenty of emotions to discuss, including Mom reaching her boiling point, too. It could be instructive as a way to create an 'anger plan' that little kids can understand and use.
Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
7 to 9
Recommended Age To Read Together:
3 to 8
Age of child:
Read with a 5-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. The book may be useful in helping children label some of the pent-up feelings they don't understand.
Little Kid Reaction
My daughter thought Leo was mean, but at the same time she liked seeing all the things that got him in trouble. For example, he was dancing on a table and squeezing the toothpaste in the toilet. She wanted to know why he did not calm down and obey his Mom instead of being so mean to her.
Big Kid Reaction
I did not like this book. Leo not only behaves badly, he does not get punished for saying mean things and disobeying. He might feel bad but there were no consequences in the end of the story. I could tell my daughter wasn’t liking it by the second page, but I was surprised she would not even let me read it to her one more time later.

Kids (and parents) will relate to the theme that some days everything goes wrong and that frustrations boil over.


While it is helpful for kids to understand emotions and feelings, they also need to know there are consequences. The story lost a great opportunity to help kids see that it isn't just them who get punished for these kinds of choices.

Title The Day Leo Said I Hate You
Author Robie H. Harris
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers © 2008
Illustrators Molly Bang
ISBN 9780316065801
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Family, Picture Book, Emotions and Feelings
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