WHAT’S WORRYING YOU?, by Molly Potter and Sarah Jennings, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Aug. 4, 2020, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 3 and up)
What’s Worrying You? is a book all about helping children understand their worries, and teaching them what to do when they feel overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings.
The book begins with a note to readers, letting children know that even grownups have worries. It’s followed by an index of sorts that sends readers directly to the worry or issue they need to confront.
Worries range from when a child gets in trouble or finds something difficult to when parents argue or you get ill. The book focuses on 12 worries in total.
Each worry features sections on 1) how you might feel 2) what you might be thinking and 3) things to remember.
A feelings glossary at the end helps children to put a name to what they are feeling and gives an example to put it into context:
Guilty: When you have done something wrong and you feel the shame of having done it.
Example: If you took a cupcake from the kitchen and then you realized your parent had baked the exact number for the people he or she works with.
Teaching a child emotional literacy is one of the hardest and most important things a parent can do. Helping a child learn how to voice their feelings is a challenge but so beneficial. As a parent, some of my favorite books along those lines are Jo Witek’s Growing Hearts series from Harry N. Abrams.
Now, I can also add What’s Worrying You? to the list. What’s Worrying You? features simple text in easy to bite nuggets. And its bright artwork clearly illustrates the topics.
I do, however, have a caveat. The book was written by a British author, and has not been changed for an American audience. A little translation will have to take place on the parent’s part: When you get told off translates to When you get in trouble. Instead of falling out with a friend you have a fight, etc. Different spellings (realised vs. realized) may jump out at more advanced readers.
These small issues pale in comparison to the wealth of knowledge offered in What’s Worrying You? I’ve already read some of it with my 6-year-old, and we’re keeping the book in a place where she can easily access it.
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