A cartoon dive into all things embarrassing.
Intending to show that “the better you understand [embarrassment], the better you control it,” Harper explores several common categories of embarrassment (“social oops,” “it’s on you and it shouldn’t be,” “parents in public,” etc.) before including the insights of real-life licensed health counselor Grace Y. Lin (depicted as a pink hippo). A string of characters accompany readers through the book: Badgey, who has “badges for bravery and words of wisdom”; an unnamed anthropomorphic dog who never gets embarrassed; and a host of child characters who act as examples for different scenarios (and who have a range of pink, tan, and brown skin). Busy pages, a two-dimensional character style, and all-caps lettering give the illustrations a doodled feel. Harper’s ultimate conclusion that “embarrassment + time = good story” reminds readers that time—and a sense of humor—can soften embarrassment. However, the book’s center may be lost as readers become bogged down in detailed examples that focus more often on embarrassing scenarios than on offering tools for reframing thinking, making this very much not a book for anyone with social anxiety.
Somewhat silly but slightly muddled; look elsewhere for meaningful guidance on coping with social anxiety.(Graphic nonfiction. 8-11)