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Ruby's Worry ISBN: 9781408892152
Percival, Tom
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2018
Ruby is the happiest of children, happy in herself, happy when swinging high, happy when exploring the garden, until... she finds a worry. It isn't terribly big in the beginning, and she can cope, but soon it begins to grow, and it gets bigger and bigger until it is affecting her whole life. No one else can see it, so she just pretends it isn't there. This is difficult as it is very big and very yellow. It makes her sad, and her parents begin to see her sadness, but don't know what to do. Ruby discovers the answer herself when she sees a boy in the park with his own (blue) worry, sitting on a bench and looking very worried indeed. When they are able to tell each other about their respective worries, the worries gradually disappear and they are happy again. The joy of this picture book is in the illustrations, which are magic! Tom Percival is new to children's illustration, but this book and another of his that I have seen, 'Perfectly Norman' are outstanding. Lots of greys and blacks make the yellow worry stand out, and the fact that Ruby is always in colour makes her the centre of attention too. We see her parents' concern only in picture, and sometimes the worry turns black when Ruby is at her worrying worst. She 'didn't realise it, but she was doing the worst thing you can do with a worry...she was worrying about it.' This could easily be used with much older children, who will get lots out of the ideas and also enjoy the real essence of the illustrations.
Age: 5+