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Jack’s Worry

Title: Jack’s Worry

Author/Illustrator: Sam Zuppardi

Age Group: 2-6

Synopsis: When Jack’s excitement over his upcoming concert becomes a worry, he’s unsure how he can get rid of it. Especially since it just keeps getting bigger and bigger the more he avoids it.


The Low Down:

One of the most helpful books I read about parenting, spoke about how children need vocabulary to give voice to their feelings. It said that being able to express how you feel so that others understand, is one of the most helpful communication tools that we can give to our children. I use this all the time with Bug. As he explores the world, we also explore new emotions that need to be dealt with. Anger, frustration, fear, shock. They’re not all the same and giving Bug the tools to help identify those also helps me teach him how to cope with each one. I was so excited to read Jack’s Worry book. Not only do I love Sam Zuppardi but the story helps children identify and deal with worry, an emotion we all experience.

Jack begins the story with excitement and is surprised to find a small bundle of worry over his upcoming concert. He tries to get rid of the worry by hiding from it and running away, but it follows him everywhere and only grows larger. His worry quickly becomes overwhelming. He finally breaks down and tells his mother about his fears. She reassures him that she’ll love him no matter how well he does and his worry begins to shrink. As he enters the concert he notices that his friends have the same affliction and quickly sets about helping them. Zuppardi tells the story with a perfectly simple text, that pairs beautifully with illustrations that encompass the entirety of this emotion.

The worry begins small and blue and becomes bigger and darker as the first half of the story progresses. Readers can understand how Jack’s worry is overwhelming but it never becomes scary for young ones. In fact, the ability displayed by Jack and the other children in dealing with their worries perpetuates a sense of empowerment that children need when dealing with their emotions. Zuppardi absolutely nails it in this story. I now have yet another tool that provides Bug with an excellent example of how to deal with his emotions.


Story Tips:

  1. Talk about something exciting you have coming up and liken that to the concert. This is a perfect opportunity to allow children to empathize with Jack or discuss their own worries.
  2. How to Talk so Kids Listen and How to Listen so Kids Talk is a great read on this subject and a book I’d recommend to anyone, children or no.

I need more!

Sam Zuppardi also wrote/illustrated an amazing story called The Nowhere Box, check out our review here. He has a new book coming out in April 2017 called Things to do with Dad. I can’t wait to check it out.


Add to my library:

Amazon:Jack’s Worry

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