Jeremy Worried about the Wind by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Kate Hindley. Nosy Crow, 2021. 9781536220186
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review): 3
Format: Hardcover picture book
What did you like about the book? Wide-eyed Jeremy worries about everything: zippers, worms, socks, squirrels. Then he meets Maggie, who challenges him by asking “What’s the worst that could happen?” They become close friends and Maggie encourages Jeremy to have a little fun in spite of his fears.
When the big wind does come, Jeremy is motivated by friendship to rush outside and save Maggie. His coat becomes a parachute, and he is lofted up and away to wordless adventures with sled dogs, pirates, and flying squirrels. Children will enjoy using their own words to tell this part of the story. When he finally makes his way home, he is charged up and ready for more.
The illustrations are colorful and fun. There are great details, like snaggle-toothed, sock-wearing dinosaurs and acorn-lobbing squirrels.
The refrain of “What’s the worst that could happen?” is never answered; adults and children reading together may want to share their own thoughts on what bad things could happen and how they could avoid or resolve them.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Although a picture book about facing your fears and embracing adventure is welcome, this one struck a wrong chord. Jeremy is worried about the wind. Tornadoes and hurricanes have been in the news in the U.S. recently, and they have devastated communities and killed many people. Wind can be dangerous. The worst that could happen in the wind is actually pretty bad.
To whom would you recommend this book? Families with anxious children, public libraries.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries with large budgets
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA
Date of review: December 29, 2021