When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left

Orchard. Mar. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338831184.
K-Gr 3–Colagiovanni’s affable journey will make children into orators: “When life’s burdens start to feel too heavy... don’t be afraid to put them down for a while.” When nothing is going right for the main character, he decides to go left. Along the way he leaves behind his worries, doubts, fears, and frustrations. The more he leaves behind, the lighter and more confident he feels, taking on a high-dive challenge and finding that he can carry those old worries and doubts but he won’t let them best him. Reynolds's iconic style features bold lines and clear images, all finished off in soft watercolors. The look of handwritten messages across the pages tells children just which words to emphasize and which ones to whisper, making this a perfect book for practicing read-aloud skills.
VERDICT Although the message is simple, it’s solid, and the collaborators give it appeal for all ages needing an inspiring story of strength, confidence, and perseverance.

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