Toby, Toby, Worry Free

Children - Grade K-3rd
32 Pages
Reviewed on 03/29/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stacie Haas for Readers' Favorite

In Toby, Toby, Worry Free, written by Lucinda T. Grapenthin, Ph.D., and illustrated by Kevin Gosselin, an octopus named Toby is worried about riding his bike with his friends. Will he fall down? Will he get hurt? Will the other kids laugh at him? Plagued by these questions, Toby declines the invitation. He tries to stop thinking about it, but his worries continue to bother him - his tentacles are tensing up and tying in knots and soon he finds himself all wound up with his eight arms. With a little encouragement from his mom and dad, Toby takes some time to practice both his bike-riding skills and his “can do” thoughts. Soon, he’s gained enough confidence to give bike riding with his friends a try and realizes he can do it.

Reminiscent of the classic kids' book, The Little Engine That Could, Lucinda T. Grapenthin has written an endearing and helpful story for young kids who struggle with anxiety, and let’s be honest, all kids do. This book presents worry in a delightful, relatable way with real examples of how to come through to the other side and enjoy that which once worried you. Kids will enjoy the sweet mentions of jellyfish gummies and squid sodas and adults will recognize the universal themes. Toby, Toby, Worry Free is gorgeously illustrated by Kevin Gosselin. Toby is an adorable character that just leaps off the page. My favorite parts of the story were when both the writing and illustrations complemented each other to show how Toby's worry manifested in his physical body. It was perfectly, expertly done. The book also includes a note from the author about the PAUSE effect, which caregivers can use to help kids through their worries and fears. Highly recommended for young kids!