Friday 28 April 2023

When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left

When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left by Marc Colagiovanni, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Scholastic) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781761294310

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left is Marc Colagiovanni’s debut picture book. It is illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, best-selling author-illustrator of The Dot and The Word Collector among others.

This heartening story is narrated in the first person by a little boy who is having a bad day. Nothing is going right for him so…he decides to go left! One by one he decides to put down the pesky negative thoughts and feelings that he usually carries with him. When he walks away from his doubts, fears, worries, and frustrations, it allows him to think more clearly.

The cartoon illustrations are perfect for a young audience and cleverly depict the boy’s negative inner voices as clusters of annoying critters. Colour is used to symbolise mood and enhance focal points.

When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left is an inspiring picture book about stepping away from negative thinking patterns and taking a new direction. Themes include emotional well-being, positive mindset, choices, and bravery. It is highly recommended for a lower primary school audience.

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