Jeremy Worried About The Wind is a sweet picture book that tackles the tricky subject of anxiety and worrying in an upbeat way!
Book: Jeremy Worried About The Wind by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Kate Hindley
Read before: No
Publication date: 3rd September 2020.
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by Nosy Crow Books. All opinions my own.
Jeremy worries about bad things happening – which is perfectly reasonable, except that he worries about everything. He fears that everything from the wind to spotty bananas could cause SERIOUS DANGER, and this fear is stopping him from doing a lot of perfectly safe things, from zipping up his coat to eating crackers. It isn’t until he meets a new friend, Maggie, who isn’t scared of anything, that he learns that sometimes, the unexpected is the most fun of all. This sweet book is a great look at anxiety, without ever mentioning the word, but it’s also a really fun story!
Imagination can have two edges: if used positively, it can show you all the brilliant things that could happen, but it’s easy to imagine negative things too, and let that stop you from going about your day-to-day business. The fact that Jeremy’s worries are on the fantastic side of things makes it a little easier to talk about than day-to-day anxieties about getting hurt or being embarrassed, and I think this book would be an amazing jumping off point to talk about anxiety with a child, especially to explore the line between staying sensibly safe and going too far. When Jeremy is blown away by the wind, he has no way to stop the worrying things from happening, so he has to go with the flow, and finds he has a good time – while it would be stressful to take all control away from an anxious child, in this hyperbolic fictional world it’s a great way to demonstrate that you have to try letting go to see what happens. ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ is a question often used in therapy for anxiety, and it’s used here first as something Maggie says, then as something Jeremy says, showing he’s learned to work through his fears in a practical way.
One really clever thing about this book is that the adventures that Jeremy goes on are all shown in wordless spreads – it’s almost as if it’s too exhilarating to put into words! This would be lovely to read together with a little one, as you can both get involved spotting details and describing what’s going on as Jeremy is whisked across the world by the wind. The illustrations are colourful, dynamic and fun, and I really enjoyed the larger pieces where there are lots of little elements to discover – try spotting all the worms that appear throughout the book, for example. Jeremy’s expressions are funny and easy to understand, and I loved the way that Maggie was drawn, too – it’s great to see a little Black girl with natural hair in a picture book!
This is a sweet, fun book that can very much be read on two levels – either as a funny adventure story, or as a useful jumping-off point to begin to discuss anxiety and appropriate levels of worrying. It would be a great one to have in your collection, whether you have an anxious child or not – and definitely one to get hold of for teachers and librarians. Four out of five cats!