Saturday 24 October 2020

Go Away, Worry Monster

Go Away, Worry Monster
written by Brooke Graham and illustrated by Robin Tatlow-Lord (EK Books) PB HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 978 1 925 820393

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Brooke Graham delivers an empowering story to help children face a worry monster by using strategies. The title tells us exactly what the book is about. Archie’s going to a new school and his worries manifest the night before. He learns to face his worries and becomes strong and happy inside. He uses strategies he’s learnt and this strengthens the story because it’s Archie who solves the problem.


In the first sentence, we are introduced to a Worry Monster as it climbs into Archie’s bed. We immediately know the problem and the setting. The dialogue between Archie and the Worry Monster builds the tension and reveals all of those icky feelings inside Archie. The text shows us how Archie deals with his worries and how his body reacts. For example, Archie puffed out his chest and lifted his chin. The child voice in this story is delightful and real.


Robin Tatlow-Lord’s end papers feature a coloured stripy sock that belongs to Archie. This sock is where the Worry Monster originates, as it climbs from the floor into Archie’s bed. The Worry Monster’s head and neck are that sock. Tatlow-Lord’s choice of purple for the background is significant as it’s a colour that can reflect worry. The body language of both characters in the illustrations support the text wonderfully. At the climax of the story the use of resistant crayon scribble above the character’s heads cleverly shows the internal worries. I also particularly love the use of size as the worries grow and shrink.


Go Away, Worry Monster is a picture book for 3-8 years that is a perfect choice to help any child who worries. This picture book can be used in both a home or school setting for all children not just those that worry.


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