In this picture-book sequel, a little girl learns self-talk and other simple techniques for managing her anxiety and perfectionism.
Sophia, a brown-haired white girl with glasses, loves school and is a good student. But then Worry—a dark scribbly cloud with mean eyes—appears in her life. The girl’s mind goes blank when she’s asked questions; she doubts herself, fears making mistakes, and feels paralyzed by Worry. Then Maya, a blonde white girl, offers help based on her own experience. She shows her how to calm herself in four steps: Notice the Worry; greet the Worry; breathe Courage in and Worry out; and use positive self-talk, such as “I can do it if I give myself time to think.” Whenever she practices these steps, Sophia’s Courage and confidence grow. Haske’s (When Worry Takes Hold, 2017) clear explanations make her concepts and techniques easy to understand, with good self-talk examples and ways to reframe situations; for example, “Mistakes mean that I am learning,” not failing. Sophia’s focus on growth is shown to be valuable not just for her, but also for her parents and teachers. The last page handily summarizes the book’s tips. Nam’s (Pepper Miss Pepperoni Finds Someone to Love Her, 2018, etc.) attractive illustrations skillfully capture expressions and personalities and depict a diverse class.
A useful, sympathetic, and nicely illustrated guide for struggling kids.