We received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review Date: June 28th, 2019
Written By: Michael Ian Black
Illustrated by: Debbie Ridpath Ohi
There is nothing boring about being a kid… but try explaining that to a potato.
Everyone feels sad sometimes. Even flamingos. It’s true!
When you are a worried potato, it’s hard to enjoy the moment.
These books are really cute. They’re simple and silly and also effective in addressing different emotions. In I’m Bored, the little girl complains of boredom at first, but then spends the entire book doing things in an effort to convince a potato that kids are not boring. The potato does not believe she is entertaining despite all the different things she thinks up to do. But we as readers get to see that even when a kid feels bored, if that kid just uses their imagination, they likely won’t be bored for long. There’s a fun little payoff in the end of the story, as well, where the one thing the potato actually thinks won’t be boring (a flamingo) ends up thinking the potato is boring, which is funny.
While I don’t think it’s actually necessary to read these in any particular order, you can tell this one was first. In the subsequent two books, each of the three unlikely friends have their own color text. But the first one has only black for all words. It also sets up how they came to be together for the next two.
In I’m Sad, we tackle what could almost be seen as more than just passing sadness. There are shades of this one that work really well for like diagnosed depression. Flamingo is sad, and not sure if he ever won’t be sad. He tries to understand why he has to feel sad and his friends assert that sometimes you just are sad and that it is absolutely okay to be sad. The best part about this book is that they tell Flamingo that it doesn’t matter if he’s sad the next day or not, they are still going to be his friend because they like him no matter what he’s feeling. I think that’s a fantastic lesson to take away from this book.
While I’m Sad does touch on being worried (that his friends won’t like him anymore if he’s sad too much), I’m Worried, obviously, goes into this emotion much deeper. I like that this particular emotion was covered because it’s not one I see mentioned a lot in emotion learning books (at least not in the ones we own) and it’s one that needs to be unpacked more with kids. I think this one does a terrific job of showing how insidious worrying is, and also how unhelpful. Flamingo and potato are so worried about things going wrong or something bad happening (I can relate) that they are desperate to avoid bad things happening. But the girl is calm and rational about the fact that bad stuff happens whether you prepare for it or not, and worrying won’t stop it. In fact, in the case of potato and flamingo, worrying only leads to more bad things happening. She helps them see that living in the now is a much better way to make your way through the day.
The artwork is simple, the colors are eye catching, the character group is as quirky as it gets, and the lessons are well executed. These are important additions to our emotions books, and I’m happy to have them on our shelves. I hope to see more emotions addressed by this motley group one day!
- Font Readability: 10/10
- Kid Engagement: 10/10
- Mommy Engagement: 10/10