The Problem with Problems
The Problem with Problems

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Annotation: How do you deal with problems? Find out in this bold, humorous, and surprisingly insightful picture book that personifie... more
Catalog Number: #219730
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Rodale Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-593-17317-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8431-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-593-17317-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8431-3
Dewey: E
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Problems are colorful creatures, underfoot and under your wheelchair and getting under your skin.Swirly or scribbly, winged or scaled, and often roly-poly, these googly-eyed imps range from tiny to too tall for the page. Some walk on many legs; one seems to be part of a wall. Sometimes the creatures embody a problem: When an ice cream cone falls splat, the creature’s face is the down-facing scoop; in a cafe serving unappetizing fare, the creature is the frightening dish of food itself; when green goo seeps all over a child’s foot, the creature is that very glue. In other cases, the creatures cause the mischief, dumping black paint all over or sticking out a tongue to intercept a ball. Problems are “Knotty…Hairy…Slippery…Tough… / Sticky like superglue, gathering stuff.” Hicks’ cheerful illustrations deftly integrate a childlike drawing style with visually sophisticated composition and postures—for example, a character’s leg stuck expressively straight out. The creatures besetting a multiracial cast of kids and adults are called problems, but despite lip service to problem-solving, the suggested solutions lean more toward stress-soothing techniques: venting, intentionally relaxing, ignoring them, or waiting them out—“Some you can sleep on. They wake in the night, / then quietly tiptoe and slip from your sight.”The slippery concept of “problem” aside, rhyming verse and peppy illustrations make for a fun and funny ride. (Picture book. 4-7)
Publishers Weekly
Rooney and Hicks have some intriguing advice for readers living through anxious times: think of problems as goofy creatures-a blue blob with red boots, a green behemoth with a pink nose and lengthy eyelashes, or a bright orange slinky whatsit with blue ears and a tail. Thus visualized, the problems may be no less irksome (Hicks-s naïf creatures, rendered in bright marker and crayon textures, exude all kinds of trouble), but they may feel more manageable. Some may not even deserve a solution. -The small ones annoy you/ but often get bored,- the narrator explains as a trail of bug-size problems follows a child: -They-ll wander away when/ they-re being ignored.- Even seemingly insurmountable problems have a weak spot: they-re a secretive bunch that -hate to be shared,- so unburdening oneself to a caring grown-up or friend might just cause a quandary to vanish. Picking battles, talking it out, letting some things slide is advice that adults often give each other, and it-s refreshing-and up-to-the-minute relevant-to see it aimed at kids. Ages 3-7. (June)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 1 This is a creative story about problem-solving for young children with enticing primary color illustrations and accessible rhyming text. Most importantly, the problems addressed here are entirely within the purview of young children. Problems are everywhere and come in all shapes and forms. You might have a problem getting a brush through all of your curls. You may have to go to the bathroom just when it's your turn to go on the slide. Or you might spy a scary spider dangling next to you. But problems always have solutions, and this book shows children how to recognize and unpack the situation by naming it, and then by turning it around or solving it. VERDICT This is a must for every library. By giving children the ability to articulate what's happening to them, this engaging read-aloud will help children overcome their fears and confidently face all obstacles. How empowering! Joan Kindig, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (6/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2

How do you deal with problems? Find out in this bold, humorous, and surprisingly insightful picture book that personifies "problems" as creatures, and skillfully teaches readers (big and small!) how to handle one when it appears.

Have you ever met a problem? They come in all shapes and sizes, and can pop up at the most inconvenient times. But you should know some things about problems that will help you make them disappear...

This picture book's original take on managing emotions, and emphasis on communication, will help little ones and grown-ups alike naviagate their peskiest problems. THE PROBLEM WITH PROBLEMS is filled with social-emotional learning-based advice for every kind of situation, wrapped lovingly in the lyrical prose of award-winning children's poet Rachel Rooney.

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