I have my worries; some may even call me a worrier. But who DOESN’T worry about facing the potential end of the human civilization at the hands of some natural disaster that lands you and your family in a harrowing scenario straight out of The Road? That and that I’ll grow an unsightly beard as I get older. Gosh, how do I get out of bed in the morning?
Harper Collins sent us a pack of books recently, which included Walter and the No-Need-to-Worry Suit. It’s a picture book written by Rachel Bright, who has created the wacky world of Woollybottom. Woolybottom is home to best friends, Walter and Winnie, and if you hadn’t guessed it from the title, Walter is a worrier.
Each book in the series gently and humorously addresses a ‘first experience’ that all young children will be able to relate to, in Rachel’s unique style. And in this book (Should we call it WATNNTWS? I think we should.), Rachel explores the first experience of participating in Sports Day.
I tried to explain to The Native when we were having a deep discussion about WATNNTWS that Americans don’t have a standard Sports Day for every school, so let me explain for readers outside of the UK. Sports Day is an event that takes place at local schools every spring. During Sports Day all children participate in a number of athletic(ish) events and parents come along to cheer them on. The day usually ends in tears because, despite a child’s best efforts, she will never be as fast as that sporty phenom, Willy Fast Legs or Tommy has tripped during the sack race and chipped 3/4 of his front tooth. Sometimes schools include parents in the events…at least The Native knows of a school that had a parents’ race. It.did.not.end.well.
Despite Walter’s chronic worrying, he’s been picked for three events. His worries about the events become so big, he’s not sure that he can face taking part. What I love about this book is that the text and pictures grow and evolve as Walter’s worries get bigger. The way it’s laid out and the emphasis on certain words guides the way you read it. Just when Walter’s worries end up filling the entire page, Winnie arrives to try and help Walter find a solution.
I wasn’t sure how The Duchess would cope with the book at 16 months old (but she is going on 6 years). It has turned out to be the perfect bedtime book. She has asked for it most nights recently. We read it through and pages before we get to the climax, The Duchess begins cheering Walter on to face his fears with shouts of, “Go! GO! GOOO! GO!”
It also doesn’t hurt that I really enjoy reading the book because of the witty little touches that Rachel has added; touches that small children would overlook, but that would elicit a little chuckle from most parents. Look out for Mr. Teddy’s events list and the titles on Winnie’s book shelf.
Walter and the No-Need-to-Worry Suit is now available in the UK for £6.99. And if you’re reading this Harper Collins, if you haven’t already, you need to roll that sucker out in America.
This book has been provided for the purpose of review.