Is Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz
The authors ask, “Suppose, just suppose, one hundred elephants come to tea and you discover you don’t have any tea bags. Uh, oh. What will you do with a herd of thirsty elephants? Now that’s a worry!” That sure is a worry. What on earth do you do for thirsty elephants when there is no large pond in sight? This and other questions are pondered in this delightful book that is designed to help children cope with worrying.
Many of the scenarios are deliberately silly. What if your teacher is a brown bear and you forget your homework; a bald eagle turns your hair into a nest; a gorilla takes your skateboard. Silly and funny, yet offers advice along the way. Kids will love these scenarios and are sure to some up with their own, along with a solution. Along the way they learn creative ways of dealing with problems.
Then there are the snippets of advice that adults can take to heart along with their children. For instance, “most of the time, something you worry about never happens.” Run a web search and there will be figures stating from 40 to 90 percent of the things we worry about never happen. That may be a hard thing to remember or believe while we are worrying, yet if this is true, we are worrying way too much. The authors also state that “a worry is as big or as small as you let it be,” and “will stay as long as you let it.” Pretty sound advice for kids of every age.
For a relatively short picture book (32 pages), it packs quite a lot of information, advice and fun. The illustrations are just a tad darker in tone than most other picture books, but then worrying is a rather dark endeavor. The pictures tell the story well. It took two talented authors to write this book. Given the weighty subject and the imaginative way it is handled, it is not hard to understand why. They have done a wonderful job of explaining a difficult subject that now even a child can put into perspective. Kids learn t worry is mostly a subjective emotion they can control with patience and perseverance. The use of imagination as a problem-solving device is wonderfully illustrated throughout the book. Plus, if an eagle ever lands on their head and makes a nest out of their hair – your child will know exactly what to do about that pesky eagle without worrying for a moment.