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What Do You Do With a Problem? Hardcover – July 1, 2016
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A child struggles with the worry and anxiety that come with an unexpected problem. In a wonderful balance of text and pictures, the team responsible for What Do You Do With an Idea (2014) returns with another book inspiring children to feel good about themselves. A child frets about a problem that won't go away. "I wished it would just disappear. I tried everything I could to hide from it. I even found ways to disguise myself. But it still found me." The spare, direct narrative is accompanied by soft gray illustrations in pencil and watercolor. The sepia-toned figure of the child is set apart from the background and surrounded by lots of white space, visually isolating the problem, which is depicted as a purple storm cloud looming overhead. Color is added bit by bit as the storm cloud grows and its color becomes more saturated. With a backpack and umbrella, the child tries to escape the problem while the storm swirls, awash with compass points scattered across the pages. The pages brighten into splashes of yellow as the child decides to tackle the problem head-on and finds that it holds promise for unlooked-for opportunity. A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life's commonplace yet emotionally fraught situations, this belongs on the shelf alongside Molly Bang's Sophie books. (Picture book. 4-7) --Kirkus Reviews
Yamada and Besom follow What Do You Do with an Idea? with the story of a boy plagued by a problem, which Besom imagines as a violet cloud hanging over the boy's head. "I didn't want it. I didn't ask for it. I really didn't like having a problem, but it was there. The boy wanders through a medievalesque town, accompanied by sleek, silvery flying fish that dart about like swallows. Soon the cloud grows into a storm. "The more I avoided my problem, the more I saw it everywhere." At last the boy has an epiphany. Armed with goggles, his hair thrown back by the force of the storm's energy, he reaches into the heart of the cloud and finds light. "I discovered it had something beautiful inside. My problem held an opportunity!" Though some younger readers may find the story overly vague it's easy to imagine questions like What is his problem? and What is he talking about? popping up Yamada's inspirational prose and the romance of Besom's spreads make an impact. Ages 5-8. --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Kobi Yamada is the creator of many inspiring gift books and ideas as well as the president of Compendium, a company of amazing people doing amazing things. He happily lives with the love of his life and their two super fun kids in the land of flying salmon where he gets to believe in his ideas all day long. He thinks he just might be the luckiest person on the planet.
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To complement the story, my husband and I also reassured her that when a problem is too big for just her we are always there to help, but it did make her feel more confident. In the end of the book, the silver lining of the problem and just having to tackle it made a lot of sense to her, and she related well to the character of the story. At bed time, we usually read her a book of her choice and she gets to sleep with it under her pillow so she can dream about it. She picked this book for an entire week and told me in the morning that it made her dream about being brave.
My daughter is VERY into books. And usually, when we get a new book, she wants to spend the next hour looking at it and rereading it. She didn't ask to take this book into her room or anything. It was done and she wasn't intrigued by it.
It's an absolutely great book for maybe an older person. As an adult, I felt like it was really great to reinforce that we can't hide from our problems or bury them or whatever. but for a young child, it doesn't help them know what to DO with a problem.. just what not to do.
What my kids noticed about this book, is you can infer that an idea is born from a problem. At the end of the book, everything goes kind of yellow, just like the color of the idea. I thought it was amazing how all of the illustrations match together. Kids will notice them if you help them appreciate those things.
Absolutely beautiful books. Extremely happy!