FICTION

I’m Worried

S. & S. (The I’m Books). Jun. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534415867.
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PreS-Gr 2–An anxious brown potato tells his friends—a little girl and a pink flamingo—that he is plagued with worries about the future. Aliens, clowns, volcanoes, pop quizzes, meteors…he is sure that something bad is just around the corner. But instead of reassurance, the wise child admits, “nobody knows what’s going to happen,” which causes their fine feathered friend to utter, “Um, now I’M worried.” The level-headed girl points out that even though bad things have indeed happened to them all, “over time they turned out okay.” Not convinced, both the spud and bird wrap themselves in bubble wrap, which turns out to be yet “another bad thing.” The child then explains that worrying doesn’t help, and that they should both learn to “enjoy the now.” Relieved, Potato realizes “Enjoying the now is way better than worrying about the future!” Minimal text and improbable, yet sympathetic characters offer a humorous solution to a serious problem. Worriers of all ages will embrace the catchphrase, “enjoy the now” and learn that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Large, bold, digitally rendered illustrations appear on oversized pages against a white background. All three characters wear their emotions on their sleeves. Share with Kevin Henkes’s Wemberly Worried for a lighthearted look at a common concern.
VERDICT A fun, reassuring storytime selection or one-on-one read for overly anxious children

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