I kid you not, as soon as I finished reading this book I immediately sent a picture of it to a bookish group chat with the sentence “holy shit this book is so good”. Perfection in a book. Our unnamed, ungendered main character (which has longish hair and is wearing a dress, they could be cultured female *which is extremely important stay tuned*) has flown into a rage and the reader is engulfed immediately into their world. Waves crash, tempests flair; all of the feelings come out.
When I See Red is a step by step anger experience. So many of the pages are poignant, but perhaps the one that really pierced me held the line “my rage keeps me safe.” Talk about a gut punch.
Women and those folks who are cultured female often experience harassment and violence at a much higher rate than men (and marginalized groups like Indigenous women most of all #MMIW) and it’s this ability to channel our anger and rage can allow us to advocate and defend ourselves. But we are also not taught to allow our rage to seep through the cracks and be seen by the outside world. We are not taught to harness our anger and rage at the inequitable treatment in the world, but it is the strongest tool we have for creating change.
Anger is extremely powerful, and that scares the Patriarchy.
This book was kindly sent by Prestel and is a contender for the #Bookstagang_BestOf2021 list. All opinions are my own!
Britta Teckentrup is an award winning illustrator, author and fine artist. She was born in Hamburg and grew up in a city called Wuppertal.
She moved to London in 1988 to study illustration and fine art at St Martin’s College and the Royal College of Art. Her awards include a nomination for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis and two Special Mention at the Bologna Ragazzi Award for ‘Alle Wetter’ and ‘The Egg’.
‘Don’t Wake Up Tiger’ was Dutch picture book of the year 2018 and ‘Under the Same Sky’ on the shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Award.
Britta has been invited to give workshops at The Edinburgh Book Festival, Hay Festival, Bath Festival and Ilustratour and her fine art work has been frequently exhibited at her London gallery and at art fairs all over the world. You can listen to an interview on Deutschlandfunk here.
Since 1993 Britta has written and illustrated over 120 picture books which have been translated into over 30 different languages.
After 17 years in the UK – Britta now lives and works in Berlin with her Scottish husband and their son Vincent.