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Wemberly Worried Paperback – April 27, 2010

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Wemberly Worried + Chrysanthemum + First Day Jitters (Mrs. Hartwell's Class Adventures)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061857769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061857768
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.1 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Wemberly the mouse worries about everything: big things, like whether her parents might disappear in the middle of the night; little things, like whether she'll spill grape juice on her toy rabbit, Petal; and things in between, like whether she might shrink in the bathtub. What she is more worried about than anything else, however, is her first day at the New Morning Nursery School: "What if no one else has spots? What if no one else wears stripes? What if no one else brings a doll? What if the teacher is mean? What if the room smells bad?" Happily, Miss Peachum introduces her to a kindred spirit right away. Jewel doesn't have spots, but she is wearing stripes and holding a doll. As Wemberly plays with her new friend, she still worries, but no more than usual. ("And sometimes even less.")

Kevin Henkes, well-loved creator of the award-winning Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, gets to the heart of a child's feelings like no one else can. Young worrywarts (and their parents) will see themselves in Wemberly, and be relieved that she, too, worries about playground equipment ("Too rusty. Too loose. Too high."), sure-to-be-inhabited cracks in the wall, whether she will be the only butterfly in the Halloween parade, and, of course, whether school will be dreadful in every way. Henkes's Lilly-style illustrations are sweet, expressive, and loaded with funny, inventive details that invite close perusal with every reading. (Wemberly's roller-blading grandma, for example, is wearing a T-shirt that says "Go with the flow.") We're not worried about whether this book will become a classic--it will! (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Henkes (Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse) introduces another wonderfully appealing child-mouse with a stubborn habit: worrying. Wemberly, a shy white mouse with gray spots, always feels nervous whether at home or away. "At the playground, Wemberly worried about/ the chains on the swings,/ and the bolts on the slide,/ and the bars on the jungle gym." She tells her father, "Too rusty. Too loose. Too high," while sitting on a park bench watching the other mice play. Her security blanket, a rabbit doll named Petal (whose spot over the left eye matches her own), rarely leaves her grip. Henkes adroitly juggles the main narrative, hand-lettered asides and watercolor-and-ink imagery of the young pessimist and her supportive parents; each element contributes a different strength. For instance, as he lists Wemberly's worries, "Big things" heads the list, paired with a vignette of the heroine checking on her parents in the middle of the night with a flashlight, "I wanted to make sure you were still here." He later shows how Wemberly's anxieties peak at the start of nursery school with huge text that dwarfs tiny illustrations. At this overwhelming moment, Wemberly meets another girl mouse, Jewel, who turns out to be a kindred spirit (she even carries her own worn doll). Henkes offers no pat solutions, handling the material with uncanny empathy and gentleness; while playing with Jewel, "Wemberly worried. But no more than usual. And sometimes even less." This winning heroine speaks to the worrywart in everyone. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels--one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at

Customer Reviews

I plan to read this book to my class at school.
Lindab Stuckey
I feel like this book gives good examples of worrying and how to cope with them.
Kevin Henkes is a wonderful author of children's books.
Patricia Weiner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on August 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Poor Wemberly, she worries about everything...big, little and in between. And what she's worried about most, is her first day of nursery school. Never fear, her teacher, Miss Peachum, knows just how she feel and introduces her to Jewel. Jewel worries about everything too. No one understands and expresses a child's feelings better than Kevin Henkes. His writing is true to life with a simple, gentle message. His illustrations, detailed and very expressive and best of all, he lets your pre-schooler know...You're not alone out there. This is a terrific new story you youngster(s) will want to hear again and again and a great addition to all home libraries.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By christy on July 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Poor little Wemberley worries about everything! And her first day in kindergarten is quickly approaching. This, of course, is very worrisome for Wemberley, but she soon finds that school isn't so intimidating. This is the newest book from Henkes, who also wrote Julius, Baby of the World, which I love. If you have a small child who worries frequently, or if you have a child who is frightened by the prospect of entering school, this would be a great book for you. The illustrations are vivid and typical of all of Henkes books; I especially love the bright yellow cover! I would recommend it for ages 3 and up- it's not too wordy to read to the tiny ones. A great book!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kevin Henkes is one of my daughters favorite authors, and I have to say, for the under 5 reading I have to do, he's one of mine too, especially after reading this book. I bought it especially because my daughter, like Wemberly, is very worried about starting her new school. When she heard Wemberly was worried about that, she said "I'm worried about that too, Mommy." Right then, I knew I had bought a great book. We read it over and over and it gives her great comfort to know that she is not the only child who worries. The best thing is Wemberly gets to school and makes a new friend. The experience is positive and all the things that she worried about did not happen. This is a great message for all kids (I think it's rare that a four year old child would not worry about certain things). Aside from a great message, the story has good humor and Henkes wonderful illustrations. I am so glad I got this book for my daughter, we read it at least 4 times before bed each night. Happy reading.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Scott on July 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Add Wemberly to the long list of Kevin Henkes' loveable characters. She worries about lots of things, but finds in the end, that her biggest worry (SCHOOL!) is nothing to worry about. Children of all ages will identify with Wemberly's knack for concern, but will enjoy experiencing the lovely way the adults in her life help her cope. Thank you Kevin Henkes, for another book about real feelings disguised in adorable entertainment.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Kevin Hanks thoroughly charming picturebook Wimberly Worried, Wemberly the mouse worries about everything, all the time, everywhere. Even though her parents and her friends try to reassure her and tell her not to worry. Kevin Henkes deftly writes and colorfully illustrates a delightful little picturebook tale will thoroughly entertain young readers even as it assures them that they, too, need never worry about everything, all the time. Other highly recommended "mouse" books by Kevin Henkes for young readers include Lily's Purple Plastic Purse; Owen; Chrysanthemum; Julius, The Baby Of The World; Chester's Way; Sheila Rae, The Brave; and A Weekend With Wendell.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By brooks west on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The book Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes is a good book for the early developing reader or for story-telling to your young child with anxiety about school. The book focuses on a little mouse girl who, as the title states,
worries about everything. She worries about the jungle gym at the park, her rabbit doll, and many other everyday occurrences. Henkes uses very colorful and descriptive pictures so as to help out young readers make a correlation between the words and their meanings. Henkes also uses repetition to hold the young readers attention and to emphasize the fact that Wemberly worries about
everything. The book gives children a good view of school and makes them excited to attend school, have fun, and make new friends. This book is good for the parents who may be worried that their kids will not like school or for kids
who have already expressed their fears of leaving their parents for school. However, the book is not suited for kids that have already experienced school and have realized that it is not very scary and that they like it. All in all, Wemberly Worried is an excellent book to buy to ease your child's anxiety about school or other things they may worry about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wemberly (a little girl mouse, despite the masculine sounding name) is a worrier. My oh my how she worries. It's amazing the girl can even get out of bed in the morning, she's so wracked with worries morning, noon, and night. She doesn't take the advice of her grandmother half as much as she should. Her grandmother (a sweatshirt wearing, roller-blade enjoying, high-tops sports shoe figure) is constantly advising Wemberly that she is carrying, "Too much worry". And on top of everything Wemberly is about to go to school for the first time. Rest assured that by the end of the tale, Wemberly's worries have at last been put to rest.

I've always liked Kevin Henkes's portrayal of fathers in his picture books. I like his other characters as well, of course, but Henkes just has dad's down pat. Take a gander at the dad in "Wemberly Worried" for example. Here's a nice pot-bellied father mouse (usually seen in close conjunction with the mother mouse) wearing different colored vests and striped shirts. Be sure to spot the special Halloween bat vest he sports as well! He's great. And so is the book.

Fans of Henkes's other mouse based picture books won't be disappointed with this one. The clever child might even locate a disguised Lily and little brother Julius (two of Henkes's best creations) hidden in one the pages. This book is a good choice for the child that shows a little reluctance towards that first day of school. Though Lily finds her solution through a similar friend, there are other ways of dealing with scary times in school. Be sure to pair this book with other first-day-of-school stories for a well-rounded view of that undoubtedly worrying time.
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