Monday 1 March 2021

Courageous Lucy, The Girl who Liked to Worry

Courageous Lucy, The girl who Liked to Worry written by Paul Russell, illustrated by Cara King (EK Books) PB RRP $24.99 ISBN 978 1 925820775

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Lucy worries about anything and everything. Her worries stop her from doing and experiencing things. She really wants to be in the school musical but is too worried. She watches the preparations from the sidelines and her want to be included increases until Lucy finally takes one brave step. Lucy still worries but realises that by being brave she can do things.  


Paul Russell brings us into Lucy’s world in the very first sentence: ‘Lucy worried about everything.’ His words brilliantly paint the picture of worries and how they grow and fester. He takes the reader inside the worries. We discover that Lucy is smart and knows things but is afraid to show what she knows. Russell brings Lucy’s knowledge into the text with some interesting facts and observations. Russell conveys Lucy’s bravery with one simple sentence: ‘Mrs Hunt, I would like to be in the musical.’ This lets children know that it’s okay to ask even if you are afraid. Russell uses dialogue between Lucy and her teacher to great effect to bring bravery to the forefront. I love how the author is realistic and that if you worry, one act of bravery is not going to make your worries go away, but it does make you braver.


Cara King’s illustrations sing as she depicts Lucy’s worries clearly with her cartoon-like facial expressions and body language. Instantly, before we even read one word, we can see that Lucy is a child who worries. I love the endpapers because they are a double spread of a reflective Lucy and her internal world. King brings diversity into the story with all the different children in the class. She shows us how Lucy’s imagination manifests her worries. Her use of perspective highlights the emotions, the bigger the worries the bigger the illustrations. Cara’s use of watercolours perfectly matches the childlike worlds she creates.

Courageous Lucy, The Girl who Liked to Worry is a picture book for children 3-8 years. This book gently shows how worries stop us from enjoying and doing things. It is a wonderful book for both parents and teachers to explore worrying and its message showcases how bravery can triumph.  This book would make a great gift for any anxious child.

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