Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 11/09/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite

We all have a past, and the past comes with baggage. What one does with the baggage will affect their life now and in the future. In Baggage by Laurel Lorenzini, children learn how to handle their baggage and how much better life is when they let go of their baggage. In this children’s picture book, Micha has many opportunities to have some fun adventures, but he rejects them because of the baggage he is carrying. Baggage can be various pains from our past such as sadness, fear, being different, being a misfit, or even worry. These are joy robbers and must be released to enjoy life to the fullest. When all of Micha’s baggage rolls away, he is free to enjoy the things he had been missing out on. It is then he realizes that he is good enough and doesn’t need to cling to the past.

I spent over 40 years teaching people how to let go of their baggage and learn to live in the present. I highly recommend Baggage by Laurel Lorenzini as a vital resource for children on how to overcome their past and baggage. This book is beautifully illustrated by Amanda Letcher. Her illustrations add flair to the interesting story of Micha and his baggage. The mere weight of baggage can be paralyzing and feel extremely liberating when it is removed. As you read this delightful book with your child, spend time discussing their fears and how to handle them. Explain that baggage and fear are big bullies that can be overcome by accepting the truth that your child is good enough just as they are. Learning to release baggage will be transforming for children and serve them well as they go through life.

Essien Asian

Micha goes everywhere with a wagon full of stuff. Despite how difficult it is pushing around that wagon, the young hedgehog has absolutely no intention of being parted from it. What everyone else is unaware of is that the wagon is full of everything Mica considers important to him. He cannot imagine going anywhere without the comfort of knowing everything that makes him unique is safely within reach. This comes at a steep price as he ends up missing out on all the beautiful things that are going on around him. Micha must choose if this sacrifice is worth it in Baggage written by Laurel Lorenzini and illustrated by Amanda Letcher.

Baggage is a lovely story targeted at young readers. It discusses insecurities that youngsters have to deal with. This is a topic that most adults are unfamiliar with when it comes to dealing with children. Laurel Lorenzini’s use of animals to depict the characters in this picture book makes it easier for children to identify with as well as enjoy the story while getting to the heart of its message. The illustrations are also really good as Letcher uses bright colors that hold the young reader’s attention with ease. The best part of this story is the dual meanings attached to Micha’s luggage, easily substituting toys for the less obvious concerns which are stylishly imprinted on the items in the wagon. Baggage is a well-thought-out book with noble intentions. It may not instantaneously solve a young reader’s problems but it makes them aware that others know what they are going through and are willing to help them.

Diana Lopez

Children who learn to accept themselves and to live with others have less stress and better self-esteem. They learn to trust themselves, and by feeling safe and accepted, they will try to do many new activities. However, it is difficult for some children to free themselves from negative emotions, especially when there is a strong emotional bond. It is necessary to teach them how to understand their emotions and encourage them to communicate. Laurel Lorenzini exemplifies this concept in Baggage. The story is about Micha, a child who is always carrying a wagon from one place to another, in which there are bags with labels such as fear or sadness. Everyone Micha meets is kind. They play, sing, have adventures, and invite Micha to be part of it all, but Micha refuses. The reason is that Micha doesn't want to lose sight of the bags until the moment of understanding that the burden causes the loss of opportunities to have fun.

I liked the metaphor of the bags and suitcases that Micha uses because it is a simple idea to understand. That makes it easy for children to relate to the story and understand the importance of putting aside sadness and enjoying the company of other children. I thought all the characters were great because they were friendly. They invite Micha to be part of their activities, and when Micha rejects them, they keep the invitation to play open. The illustrations are beautiful, with soft colors, and represent a variety of settings and situations. Laurel Lorenzini's narration is clear and fun, promoting values such as respect for oneself and others, among other things. For all these reasons, I recommend Baggage to talk to children about emotions and how to get along with others.