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THE WORRYSAURUS

A welcome addition to the emotional-literacy shelf.

Little Worrysaurus has a big day planned, but will his fears get in the way of his perfect picnic?

After going through his morning routine, Worrysaurus packs up for the day and heads out into the world with nothing but blue skies and his planned picnic on his mind. However, it doesn’t take long for worry and doubt to start to set in. Did he bring enough food? Enough to drink? When he runs across a lizard who is sure it is going to rain, a “little worry butterfly” begins to flutter in Worrysaurus’ stomach. He’s not prepared for rain. As the worry butterfly flaps harder, he remembers something his mommy told him: “Don’t you worry now, my lovely, / you MUST try not to fret. / If it’s not a happy ending, / then it hasn’t ended yet.” Feeling better, Worrysaurus goes through his bag of “happy things” and is able to enjoy the rest of his day. This sweet title will help little human worrysauruses feel as though they are not alone, and it also offers coping tools for when fear and doubt start to take over. Chatterton’s illustrations depict an unthreatening pink theropod with an oversized head (and rather distractingly large nostrils) and effectively convey emotion through color: Happy moments are rendered in bright colors while fearful ones have darker spreads. Easy rhymes with good meter make this fun to read aloud. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 36% of actual size.)

A welcome addition to the emotional-literacy shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-63408-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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