Toby, Toby, Worry Free by Lucinda Grapenthin is a wonderful children’s picture book that teaches children about anxieties and worries.
Negative thoughts are natural, as is being worried, scared, or unsure of your surroundings, yourself, and what’s going on. As a kid, these thoughts can be very overwhelming and hard to understand. It’s no surprise some kids hide their worries to themselves! They aren’t sure if other people even have them. Depending on how they grew up, kids might not have had the best atmosphere to understand these feelings.
Toby, our Octopus lead, has many worries about riding his bike. Sure, it’s lots of fun and can get you places, but there’s also so many reasons to be scared of his bike (and biking with his friends!). He tries to avoid his worries, but that doesn’t work, and he continues to try to cope in some maladaptive ways. His emotional feelings get so bad that he gets physical symptoms of his anxiety – like his muscles being tight and his inner thoughts being so loud he can’t hear. Luckily, his Mom is there to support him and teach him some valuable coping mechanisms. The end of the book has some helpful tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety, which takes this book up to another level.
This book is prime reading material if you ask me. Not only are the illustrations fun, but the messaging is wildly important too! Teaching kids that anxiety is natural and that there are positive coping mechanisms is really important. Whether you use this as an educational or talking tool, or just as a fun read because it has an octopus riding a bike, this book will bring all the smiles.
Five out of five stars.
I received this book for free from the published in exchange for an honest review.
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