Everybody Worries / Dino Love

Everybody Worries
Jon Burgerman
Oxford University Press

No matter what they might say to the contrary, it’s probably true that Everybody Worries – probably for many of us, more often during this past year than at any other time.

Jon Burgerman’s typically zany characters offer reassurance to youngsters as they reveal that even the coolest, bravest, toughest and smartest worry.

That not everyone worries about the same things is demonstrated: what bothers one person might well be relished by others, although worrying is a normal response to life’s changes. You might experience an increased heart rate, or feel queasy as a result so it’s great to have some strategies to help you cope. You can talk to a friend, draw and name your worries

and try some slow, deep breathing, sleep and eat well and keep fit.

Shared worries help to relieve the angst and rest assured, no matter what, nothing lasts forever; do what you can for others – togetherness is key, (even if right now you can’t get physically close) and remember, ‘We can overcome anything, when we’re there for each other.’

The perfect panacea for pandemic wobbles, Jon Burgerman’s book is full of wisdom and practical suggestions: have it to hand to share with little ones whenever needed.

Dino Love
Michelle Worthington and Veronica Montoya
Catch a Star

There’s a lot to learn when you start at nursery or preschool and so it is for the little dinosaur character in this simple story.

First there are those goodbyes to family members … ” I’ll miss you(s)” to cope with at the door. However these apprehensive feelings soon give way to lots of love and friendship opportunities … so long as you’re open to new experiences, willing to try your best

and remember to take some deep breaths should you feel anxious.

Yes, love is often expressed verbally, but also through actions. This is what the little dinosaur discovers as, secure in the love of family, s/he embraces the new and welcomes the multiplicity of opportunities that stepping out of your comfort zone can offer.

Many little humans are dinosaur enthusiasts and this reassuring book is just right to share and talk about when youngsters are about to take those next steps. Michelle Worthington’s minimal verbal narrative allows Veronica Montoya’s bright, jolly scenes to do much of the telling.

Cavegirl / It’s Too Scary / Manju’s Magic Wishes

Cavegirl
Abie Longstaff and Shane Crampton
It’s Too Scary!
Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Sharon Davey
Manju’s Magic Wishes
Chitra Soundar and Verónica Montoya
Bloomsbury Education

These are three recent additions to Bloomsbury Education’s Young Readers series, which aims to help children take that important step into independent reading.

Each book has been written by a popular author, has short chapters providing suitable stopping points and full colour illustrations that make each book look inviting.

Cavegirl Aggie is an independent, creative little girl with a warm heart and a mission: to get a very special birthday present for her mum. She learns that one of the villagers, Gron, has found a piece of amber that glows like the sun and is certain it’s the right gift. She sets about her task, making several trades and finally she has something she thinks Gron will trade for the amber. Gron agrees but then on the way home disaster strikes in the shape of a boar and the amber disappears before her eyes. But Abbie isn’t one to give up and the satisfying story ends happily.

It’s Too Scary! is the story of a visit to the fair. Mum takes Jun and his sister Lin but while she’s eager to try all the rides, Jun who’s first visit to a fair this is, is fearful and wants to avoid anything scary. Can Lin, help her little brother overcome his fear of those ‘big rides’ so that he too can enjoy all the fun of the fair and make his experience one he’ll want to repeat?

Chitra’s Manju’s Magic Wishes is slightly longer in terms of words and like Cavegirl, has a little girl who is eager to give her mum a wonderful birthday gift. The story has plenty of action and excitement and of course magic – there’s a magic lamp, a genie and seven wishes, and an enormously tasty finale. Manju and her cat, Cumin discuss mum’s birthday present and Cumin suddenly becomes excited, rushing into Grandma’s room. It’s there that they accidentally discover Grandma’s magic lamp and by recalling Gran’s instructions Manju is able to call up a genie. He grants them seven wishes – more than Manju is expecting. Those will surely be sufficient to conjure up something very special. However the task isn’t quite as simple as they anticipate; indeed Manju almost runs out of wishes before that ‘just right’ gift is ready and waiting.

For adults sharing them with children, the inside covers of all three books have helpful tips, discussion points and creative ideas to extend the stories.