I’m Worried by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Simon & Schuster, 9781534415867, 2019
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This is such a wonderful book that can be used to help children manage the fears and concerns in their lives. In this story, a little potato (“worried potato”) and a flamingo are terribly concerned about the future. When a young girl asks why, they simply state that they are concerned that something bad will happen. They want reassurance from the young girl that everything will be OK but she tells them that life is not like that (you can almost hear the teachable moment coming in at this point). She points out that bad things have happened to all of them before — the potato was bruised falling off the counter, the flamingo got his beak stuck in a jar of peanut butter, and the little girl broke her arm falling off the monkey bars. She also points out that positive things happened because of these events — potato got a cool sticker at the doctor’s office, flamingo made a delicious bologna sandwich and everyone doodled on the little girl’s cast.
This is such an important story for young children who are afraid of some sort of failure or even trying something new or different. The illustrations are extremely colorful which will keep the attention of young readers.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a great book for children ages three through six. I think the concept of overcoming concerns about the future would be lost on children younger than three. Even though the text is very simplistic, the message would be perfect for preschool and elementary children because it opens up conversation about fears of the future.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, preschools, daycares, and nursery schools, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and six.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer Kristin Guay, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Date of review: June 17, 2019