Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry

David Powlison
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Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry
Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry Picture Books
Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry Picture Books
Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry Picture Books
Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry Picture Books
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Everyone gets frustrated when something important to them goes wrong. In Jax's Tail Twitches, the whole Squirrel family ends up out of sorts when acorn gathering doesn't go according to plan. Although Papa, Mama, Jax, and Caspian Squirrel all get angry, they also learn about the power of saying sorry, seeking forgiveness, remembering God's words, and praying together.

Edited by David Powlison, Jax's Tail Twitches ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes how we respond when life goes wrong. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will help children and adults remember to turn to God for help when they are angry.

A new series of hardback, illustrated children's books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children.

The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces. The last page of each book contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps children apply biblical truth to specific issues. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.


David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and minibooks, including Speaking Truth in Love; Seeing with New Eyes; Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare; The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context; Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness; Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken; and God's Grace in Your Suffering. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.


Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn't spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in Art and Education from Dordt College, and his MA from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art.

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"These books are a uniquely different genre from classic children's bedtime reading. They are counseling books to help children. They provide a creative avenue for children to consider how their faith is intimately relevant to their struggles. This is what makes this series of books so significant."
David Powlison, (1949–2019) was Executive Director of CCEF and editor of the Good News for Little Hearts series

"When our children were little, we read to them constantly—and had these books been available, they would have been among the favorites. With the simplicity and engaging charm of the Peter Rabbit stories, yet with the quiet grace of Christian insight, these stories stamp themselves on young minds. Text and pictures support each other tellingly. These books are destined to become favorites for young families."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical School, Deerfield, IL; cofounder of The Gospel Coalition

"I love these books. My daughter Kim who struggles with a disability loves these books. She giggles all the way through them—catching all the subtle humor. I read them to my grandkids. We especially love the drawings. I buy copies for all my grandchildren. What more can I say? They are fun!"
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

"So many Christian parents are looking for engaging, age-appropriate ways to help their young children learn what the Bible teaches about everyday struggles and challenging situations. This new book series edited by David Powlison and Ed Welch fits the bill! In the Good News for Little Hearts series, kids will be enthralled by relatable characters, charming illustrations, and gospel-centered lessons. These volumes would make a valuable addition to any family's library."
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family

"Failure, anger, anxiety—for too long we have thought that addressing these typical life experiences is only for the 'teenage' or 'adult' years. How refreshing—and wise—to see them being addressed from a gospel-centered perspective for little children. This series, Good News for Little Hearts, has the potential to produce godly perspectives and habits from the earliest years of our children's lives."
Jonny Gibson, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

"For years I wished there were resources that would help equip children to face the many trials and temptations that come in this life rather than waiting till they are neck-deep in the mire before throwing them the lifeline of biblical truth. The Good News for Little Hearts series is an answer to my longing. These books communicate life-changing biblical truths through beautiful illustrations and stories that connect with young hearts in meaningful ways."
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition

"Jax's Tail Twitches is a tremendous resource for children and parents who struggle with anger. The endearing illustrations draw children in to a storyline that uncovers both the sin of anger, and our need for forgiveness and reconciliation. The story walks us through what a right response to our anger looks like and provides a great starting point for discussions with your children. Definitely a must-read in our family!"
Deepak and Sarah Reju, Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC), Authors of Great Kings of the Bible and God Is Better Than Trucks

"Wow, what a series! Within these books you meet wonderfully relatable characters with feelings and experiences readily identifiable to children of all ages, clever and creative illustrations, excellent questions that will spark meaningful conversations with your child or grandchild, and simple scriptural connections that are easily understood. Can't wait to recommend them to our kids and read them to our grandkids!"
Dave Harvey, President of Great Commission Collective; founder of RevDaveHarvey.com; author of When Sinners Say I Do and I Still Do: Growing Closer and Stronger Through Life's Defining Moment

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18 Reviews

  • 5
    Teaching kids about Anger

    Posted by Amy S. on 10 29 2018

    Everybody has been angry at some time or other and I really liked how this book showed that both adults and children can struggle. This is a story about a squirrel family and their neighbors. The pictures are nice and colorful and they went well with the story. My favorite part of the story was its “meat”. At the end there are some helpful notes in discussing anger with children. Some of the things that really stood out and made an impression on me were: -Anger shows that something in our world that matters is not right -We are made in God’s image and like God we experience anger- except when He is angry He doesn’t sin These and other points are clear and introduce great topics to discuss with your children. I read this book with my eight year old son and he really liked it. He liked how the topic was addressed, how God’s anger is different from ours, the different ways people were angry, the storyline was enjoyable, and the pictures were interesting. He also said it was a good book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. Reviewed by Boo and his Mum

  • 5
    Presents a healthy way for kids to process anger!

    Posted by Beauty in the Binding on 10 28 2018

    When I asked my daughter (age 6) what she thought of Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry, she said she liked it when the two squirrel siblings got angry with each other. That happens in our house, so she could relate to that part. I thought it was good that the book also addressed adults being angry. The characters dealt with their anger in a healthy way: reflection, verbalization, prayer, and conflict resolution with their squirrel neighbors. It ends with character lessons learned and reconciliation. I recommend this book to all families as we all experience anger at some point and this is a great resource for teaching your child to deal with it in a healthy way.

  • 5
    Creative Counsel for Children When They Are Angry

    Posted by Theron St. John on 10 26 2018

    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.

  • 5
    Biblical Counseling for Kids!

    Posted by Joey Parker on 10 21 2018

    Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry is one of three new releases in the Good New For Little Hearts series from New Growth Press and CCEF. As a member of a church that is very committed to Biblical Counseling I was very intrigued by this new series. CCEF has produced many quality resources for adults that have been very beneficial to me and countless others. The idea that these same truths would now be made available to kids in story book form had me very excited for their release.  The series brings gospel truth to children by "focusing on an animal family's real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus in the midst of challenging circumstances." Jax's Tail Twitches begins with Jax the squirrel reacting in anger because his brother Caspian trips him and beats him to breakfast. At breakfast we are introduced to the rest of Jax's family and shortly will see all of them, except baby Jolie, react to different situations in anger. While collecting nuts for the winter Papa gets angry at a neighbor who is taking nuts from his tree. Caspian continues to pick on Jax and Jax reacts in anger again. During all of the feuding Mama forgets about dinner that is cooking and after discovering that it is burned she is angry too! Jax recognizes that the entire family seems to get angry when they don't get what they want. This leads Papa to recognize everyone's anger and address it with Scripture and prayer. Each family member then ask for forgiveness from the others and Papa also reconciles with his neighbor.  The book closes with a section called Helping Your Child With Anger. Here the author gives 9 points from Scripture to further discuss with your children. This is where the biblical counseling influence of CCEF is most clearly seen. This section definitely turns the book into a resource to be used over and over again with your children. There is also a Back Pocket Bible Verse section with Bible verses for kids to carry with them for when they are angry. This is a very nice addition to the book. The illustrations of the book are also very well done.  Jax's Tail Twitches is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and churches to connect the truths of Scripture with different struggles that children will face. The writing style is engaging, the illustrations are wonderfully done, and the biblical truths are clearly communicated. I would highly recommend this book to any Christian that regularly interacts with young children.  I received a copy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

  • 5
    Jax’s Tail Twitches When You Are Angry by David Powlison Book Review

    Posted by ReneeK on 10 19 2018

    Our kids mimic our actions often. We tell them not to do something and yet we do what we told them not to do. Kind of hypocritical aren’t we as parents. WE are sending our kids a mixed message. Our actions should speak as loud as our words. This beautifully illustrated hardback book is for ages 3 to 8 year olds. The illustrations are adorable and full of details. I loved the acorn wallpaper and the mitten as a floor mat. The details of the illustrations within the pages that Joe Hox created are eye-catching with its full colored illustrations. This is a story about a family of squirrels. It starts out with Jax being mad at his brother because he was the first one in the kitchen. Before he can complain to his mother his father burst into the door and announcing the good news. “Today is a big day,” says father. “The acorns are finally ripe” and “All paws needed to collect acorns for winter!” Immediately Jax makes a rude commit about his neighbor and his brother follows suit. A day that should be joyful and fun ends up being a disaster with Dad getting angry. Next its Jax, Caspian, and Mama turn to show that ugly temper and get real angry. Only the baby Jolie doesn’t lose her temper. Through all this Jax makes a discovery about themselves and now it’s time to make things right. They sit down and pray together as a family and read the word together. What a cute story that much wisdom can be taught to our little ones about anger and losing our temper. There is an underlining message for use parents that we should take away from the story. Caspian said it spot on, “I guess the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In the back of the book there is a section for parents, “Helping Your Child with Anger.” There are nine suggestions with scriptures to apply in your family with your child. Also included is a cut out with “Back Pocket Bible Verses” with six scripture verses to carry with you to remind yourself not to get angry. Jax’s Tail Twitches When You Are Angry is wonderful and heartfelt story to share with your kids. I received a free copy of this product

  • 5
    Books That Teach Children How to Turn to God in Difficult Situations

    Posted by Kelly on 10 16 2018

    The entire Good News for Little Hearts series is a wonderful collection of children's books that touches up on real life situations and the best way to handle them as Christians, with faith and grace. Jax's Tail Twitches touches up on ways to deal with anger and even has a lesson on sharing. Buster's Ears Trip Him Up teaches about humility and how to cope with failure. Zoe's Hiding Place discusses fear and anxiousness, and what God says about these things. The illustrations throughout are fantastic! With the turn of each page, not only does the illustrator tell the story with his artwork, but he was also sure to incorporate all kinds of neat and interesting details in the background to really help give each story depth and life. Each book is meant to strike up meaningful conversations between parents and their children as they read about the difficulties the characters face in their own individual situation, and how they learn to live in faith and follow what God's word says. As the plot of each book progresses and the main character comes face to face with a unique challenge, Bible references, prayers, and scripture are introduced to show them what to do next. In turn, this teaches young children how to deal with their own emotions and what to do when all odds seem against them. It's definitely a series that I hope will eventually expand to include additional stories. I received an advanced copy of the book, however all views and opinions are purely my own.

  • 5
    A wonderful book to use to discuss dealing with anger

    Posted by Amanda Holmes on 10 12 2018

    My children and I are enjoying this series of books and the difficult emotions it covers. This is an excellent story on dealing with anger and apologizing when you do get angry. I like how this book also offers a section for the parents on how to discuss anger and dealing with it in healthy ways. I highly recommend this series! I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

  • 4
    Jax's Tail Twitches

    Posted by Laura V. Hilton on 10 10 2018

    JAX'S TAIL TWITCHES is a cute story about a squirrel family with greed and anger issues. Everyone in the family except the baby squirrel gets angry at someone and needs to apologize. The father preaches why it is wrong to lose your temper, but he's pretty much the worse of all of them, refusing to share with his neighbors but yet quick to accept when they want to share with him. The illustrations are well down (except the angry squirrel is rather scary looking and may frighten sensitive children). The message is important and the squirrels do discuss truths and why they were wrong to react as they did. A great fall book for your favorite younger -- for Halloween treats or for a Thanksgiving gift or a just because your special to me gift. Would be great for children's libraries at churches, Christian schools, preschools, etc. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own

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