Hello, friends! Our book today is I’m Worried, written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, third in the pair’s series on dealing with complicated emotions.
Potato (yes, that is a sentient potato on the front cover) is worried. About everything, really; anything and everything could go wrong at any moment, and bad things can happen at any time. He shares his anxieties with his friends – a little girl and a flamingo – who sympathize with the troubled spud. In fact, his worries begin to rub off on Flamingo, until they are both feeding off each other’s fear of the unknown. Keeping a cool head, the little girl encourages her friends to try to live in the present instead of worrying about the future; it’s true that bad things can happen, and sometimes do, so it’s all the more important to appreciate the good things – and people – in our lives whenever we can. At last, the three friends conclude that they are glad to have each other as they face the scary stuff, and the good stuff too.
An interesting and honest look at anxiety for readers of all ages. Indeed, there’s plenty to worry about in the world these days; furthermore, it’s easy for little ones (and yes, big ones too) to sometimes feel paralyzed by those fears. What this story does nicely is validating those troubling thoughts, even the irrational ones, by saying that it’s okay to have them. It’s a small thing, but an important one, because the message is not that we SHOULDN’T worry, but that we should try to redirect our minds and energies so that our worries don’t consume us. It’s subtle, thoughtful, and very well done. The illustrations are thoroughly charming and pair well with both the serious moments and the comedy that keeps things from getting too heavy. The length is fine for any age, and JJ liked it. A nice, kid-friendly reflection on mental self-care, and we enjoyed it – Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)