Monday, August 12, 2013

Is a Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz (illustrated by Marie LeTourneau)

Is a Worry Worrying You?
Authors: Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz
Illustrator: Marie LeTourneau
Publisher: Tanglewood
Publication Date: April 7, 2007
I had heard about this book for years but had never read it. Since my own three-year-old, Magda, is prone to a few worries of her own (mostly nightmare related) I thought she might want to check this one out. It's about children who have "worries" in the form of a personified blue monster who pesters them. The things they worry about are deliberately silly, like having elephants over for tea and having nothing to serve them, or having a monkey steal your skateboard. And ultimately the advice is that you can make your worry go away by creative problem solving (serving lemonade instead of tea, borrowing the monkey's roller blades) or by ignoring it and refusing to let it in.

The book is cute but it left me with two new worries.

First of all, I was worried that the book would give Magda all kinds of new worries to worry about. Would elephants REALLY come over? If she's worried about something, does that REALLY mean a blue monster is lurking in the house somewhere? She already has enough dreams that a bear is trying to eat all of her stuffed animals, the last thing I wanted is for her to have new material for her nightmares.

And secondly, is this the best advice for worry-filled children? The problem-solving part is helpful, but I'm not sure how practical the "ignore it and it'll go away" part is. Fretful children (and fretful adults) often KNOW that they're being irrationally fearful and being told to "just stop worrying" can make them feel ashamed for not being able to do so.

I should explain that when I read this, I had just finished reading The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxiety and Fears, by Lawrence J. Cohen. If your child really does have serious worry or anxiety issues, I highly, highly recommend it.

from the author's website:
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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