cover image I’m Worried

I’m Worried

Michael Ian Black, illus. by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1586-7

Potato, a character that resembles a ball of brown clay with a wobbly mouth and fretful eyes, is worried about the future: “Because what if something BAD happens?” A sensitive girl, who helped Potato to overcome boredom in companion book I’m Bored, comforts and supports her friend. An unruly spread rendered in minty green ink shows Potato’s worst-case scenarios unfolding simultaneously (an erupting volcano, an alien chef holding a “Potato Recipes” book, a T. rex in pursuit of a fearful clown). Potato’s anxiety is contagious: “Um, now I’M worried,” Flamingo says. The girl is pragmatic but gentle as she explains to Potato and Flamingo that life is filled with unexpected events and that many turn out okay in the end. Learning to “enjoy the now” may seem like a simplistic solution to handling life’s inevitable stressors, but readers who put it into practice will likely find it empowering. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]