Jack loves to play the trumpet and he is really looking forward to his first big concert. Then, on the morning of the performance, an uninvited guest arrives: WORRY! Despite Jack’s best efforts to hide from it, the worry won’t leave Jack alone. In fact it grows even larger. Finally, Jack is totally overwhelmed and tells his mother:
I’m worried I’ll make a mistake and you won’t love me anymore.
Sam Zuppardi has written and illustrated a reassuring book for little ones experiencing a very real emotion. Mental health is a relatively common theme in picturebooks, but not always dealt with as effectively as it is here. The text is simple. The problem is laid out clearly and the solution is plausible and realistic. Jack’s plight is familiar, making it easy for a small child to identify with him. The story also makes it easy for a caring adult to open a conversation with a child about anxiety and give them some effective tools to shrink that clingy monster to a manageable size.
Giving the worry a shape – a grey-blue blob – and a personality makes the worry far more approachable. The illustrations are wonderful – lots of scribbles and splashes of colour. Zuppardi has said that he likes his books to look homemade and this one does.
This is the kind of book I wish we’d had in the house as our children faced a myriad of first experiences. Highly recommended.