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Wemberly Worried (Book & Cassette)
by Kevin Henkes
ISBN 0874998077 / 9780874998078 / 0-87499-807-7
Publisher Live Oak Media (NY)
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Wemberly the mouse worries about everything: big things, like whether her parents might disappear in the middle of the night; little things, like whether she'll spill grape juice on her toy rabbit, Petal; and things in between, like whether she might shrink in the bathtub. What she is more worried about than anything else, however, is her first day at the New Morning Nursery School: "What if no one else has spots? What if no one else wears stripes? What if no one else brings a doll? What if the teacher is mean? What if the room smells bad?" Happily, Miss Peachum introduces her to a kindred spirit right away. Jewel doesn't have spots, but she is wearing stripes and holding a doll. As Wemberly plays with her new friend, she still worries, but no more than usual. ("And sometimes even less.")
Kevin Henkes, well-loved creator of the award-winning Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, gets to the heart of a child's feelings like no one else can. Young worrywarts (and their parents) will see themselves in Wemberly, and be relieved that she, too, worries about playground equipment ("Too rusty. Too loose. Too high."), sure-to-be-inhabited cracks in the wall, whether she will be the only butterfly in the Halloween parade, and, of course, whether school will be dreadful in every way. Henkes's Lilly-style illustrations are sweet, expressive, and loaded with funny, inventive details that invite close perusal with every reading. (Wemberly's roller-blading grandma, for example, is wearing a T-shirt that says "Go with the flow.") We're not worried about whether this book will become a classic--it will! (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson [via]