Black and Ohi team up once more to encourage children’s emotional intelligence in this follow-up to I’m Sad (2018) and I’m Bored (2012).
Potato is worried. Potato is anxious about the future and all the terrible things that could possibly happen: alien invasions, volcanic eruptions, dinosaur rampages. Like many who struggle with anxiety, Potato is an expert at catastrophizing, and although Flamingo is initially unconcerned, the spud’s fears are contagious. Their human friend encourages them to learn to treasure and enjoy the moment right now. Although “sometimes bad things happen,” everything usually turns out OK in the end. Ohi’s bright and bold illustrations carry the plot, conveying physical humor and emotional expression (even in the tuber) along with expanding the dialogue-only text, which utilizes different colors and typefaces to identify the speakers. Once again Black does an excellent job of normalizing a difficult emotion and giving children insights on how to cope. The book is not as touching as I’m Sad, but the lighthearted antics of the friends here will likely assist worried readers to break negative thought spirals and perhaps reframe to more mindful settings. As the dedication reads: “For worriers. Take a breath. Right now, in this moment, you are fine. And this moment is all that matters.”
A great launchpad for sharing about worries and developing vocabulary for thorny feelings. (Picture book. 3-8)