2018 Reviews · children · Picture book

Children’s Book Review: Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival

Title: Ruby’s Worryruby's worry small

Author:  Tom Percival

Illustrator:  Tom Percival

Published: August 1st 2018

Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia

Pages: 32

Genres:  Children (0-5)

RRP: $14.99

Rating: 4 stars

Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first it’s not such a big worry, and that’s all right, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again? 

A perceptive and poignant story that is a must-have for all children’s bookshelves.

Review:

Tom Percival, the author and illustrator of Ruby’s Worry, taps in children’s emotional needs in his latest picture book, Ruby’s Worry. In today’s busy world, young children are presenting with anxiety issues and are often unable to discuss their worries. Tom Percival has recognised this and has composed a children’s picture book that opens up the vital channels of communication around this sensitive subject area.

Ruby’s Worry is about a typical little girl, Ruby. This sweet little girl enjoys the swings and exploring, but Ruby’s world begins to change when she finds a worry following her. At first the worry is just a small fuzz ball, but as the story progresses, the worry grows. As the worry expands, Ruby begins to feel very sad and concerned. To return to her former carefree self, Ruby finds a conversation and the friendship of another child the key to removing her worry ball from her life.

Ruby’s Worry represents the second book I have read by British author and illustrator Tom Percival. What I admired about Ruby’s Worry was Percival’s willingness the tackle a subject that deserves special attention. Working in the education system and having my own child who suffers from anxiety, I can see how important children’s picture books are to easing the worry monster. Ruby’s Worry can easily be used in educational settings, libraries, child care centres and in households. It is the perfect strategy to open up a discussion of worry, throw ideas around about how to ease worries and help young children to see that they are not alone in their feelings. Ruby’s Worry covers themes of friendship, communication, problem solving and emotions.

I like the approach Tom Percival has taken to his illustrations in Ruby’s Worry. Ruby herself and the inviting front cover are a bright yellow and they are very transparent. Meanwhile, the backdrop that Ruby finds herself in during the story is muted to a grey colour. This is a great strategy to draw the reader’s attention to Ruby, the principal character of the story and her vibrant yellow ball of worry. The illustrations are clear and carefully reflect the overall ideas presented in the story.

Tom Percival has cast a sympathetic and appealing character in Ruby, his lead in Ruby’s Worry. Ruby is placed in a range of situations throughout the story that many young readers will be able to directly correlate to their own experiences. Ruby possesses qualities of joy, happiness and energy, in conjunction with her sad moments. This makes Ruby’s story very authentic and I hope that readers will see that their feelings are substantiated through this valuable storybook character.

Ruby’s Worry is a gentle but essential children’s storybook. It carefully places childhood anxiety and everyday worries in the spotlight. The sensitive and insightful portrayal of a worry by Tom Percival ensures that the target audience feels reassured and armed with a set of ideas to tackle a common feeling experienced.  Ruby’s Worry is an indispensable early childhood text.

Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival was published on 1st August 2018 by Bloomsbury Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Ruby’s Worry, Tom Percival, visit here.

*I wish to thank Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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