Wemberly Worried

Wemberly Worried

4.8 5
by Kevin Henkes
     
 

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Wemberly worried about everything.

Big things.

Little things.

And things in between.

Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more.

If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

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Overview

Wemberly worried about everything.

Big things.

Little things.

And things in between.

Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more.

If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“Wemberly shows that being human is cause for celebration, even if you’re a mouse.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Wemberly, the newest member of Kevin Henkes' mouse menagerie, worries about everything. She worries that no one will come to her birthday party. When a darling mob of mice descends, she worries there won't be enough cake. Wemberly's parents urge her not to worry so much. Yet their own brows furrow, just like their daughter's. Meanwhile, Wemberly's grandma sports plaid shorts, a cane and roller blades, and a sweatshirt emblazoned "Go With the Flow." Henkes' familiar drawing style is as charming as ever. Bright watercolor washes are overlaid with bold dabs. His fluid ink lines are thick and black for the biggest shapes. Sketchy hatch lines add form to the colors, while lending a hint of delicacy. Henkes fans will delight in his joke-filled Halloween parade: mice dressed as cheese; a tiny mouse-elephant; a pajama-clad mouse wearing a Richard Scarry cat head; and a ghost with a Groucho Marx mustache, red boots and a purple plastic purse. Of course, it must be Lilly under there, famous from a book of her own. Design-wise, a Henkes mouse has no mouth unless it is closed and smiling. Hence, Henkes relies on eyes, eyebrows, and staging to enhance emotion. Delightful examples include the mouse-packed park or crowded classroom, where Henkes gives most mice downcast gazes, leading viewers to the characters with wide-open eyes: Wemberly, of course, and those most to her. Yet Wemberly's pivotal relationship with her bunny doll, Petal, is difficult to pin down. An early illustration shows a "little thing" Wemberly worries about: spilled juice. But the purple juice has stained the tablecloth and is now at table's edge, about to cascade onto the prone, helpless form of dear, yellow Petal.Surely such an accident would be no small thing! Especially since, a few pages later, we are told that Wemberly always worries about Petal. On that same page, we see a picture where Wemberly believes that "Petal is lost forever!" Yet Wemberly's posture is upright, and only one tear makes her expression different than before. Worse, the feared loss is only one event of many worries listed on the page, minimizing its importance. Henkes wanted to save the heights of emotion for Wemberly's greatest worry: starting school. The growth of this anxiety is beautifully orchestrated with page design: growing type size, followed by small type with big pictures, then huge type with small forms. All ends happily, as Henkes fans know it will. Wemberly's teacher, the aptly-named Miss Peachums, immediately introduces our heroine to another young worry-wart. And friendship, it seems, leaves less time for worry. Wemberly is too busy to do anything but smile for the last five pages. Readers will be smiling long before. 2000, HarperCollins, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Diana Star Helmer — The Five Owls, September/October 2000 (Vol. 15 No. 1)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This is a sparkling telling of the popular story by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, 2000). The anthropomorphic mouse worries about everything. Now Wemberly must face her biggest fear yet, the first day of school. Laura Hamilton provides a fine narration and an appropriately concerned and subdued mouse-like voice for Wemberly. She also narrates the text and provides the asides of many characters throughout the story. Wemberly's worries range from whether she might shrink in the bath to whether there may be a snake hiding in the radiator. Of course, Wemberly's parents and go-getting grandmother are supportive of her concerns. At school, Wemberly discovers a wealth of fun activities and a fellow worrier, Jewel. Background sound effects provide a nice touch running water for the bath, hissing for the radiator, etc. One side of the tape has page-turn signals, while on side two the story is told uninterrupted. Henkes has really tapped into children's fears, and they will relate to the appealing Wemberly and her many worries. This package is an excellent vehicle to address children's fears about starting school. A welcome addition for public and school libraries.-Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, King County Library System, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Childrens Book Watch
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.
—Childrens Book Watch
Kirkus Reviews
As a chronic worrier and an extremely anxious young mouse, life is hard for Wemberly. Her worries range from big life issues-what will she do if her parents disappear-to the mundane-what to do if she spills juice on her special doll Petal? Unfortunately her parents, although concerned, are not much help, merely telling her to stop worrying so much, rather than teaching her how to cope with her anxieties. And Wemberly's well-meaning grandmother just tells her to loosen up and have some fun. Every aspect of life raises new worries for Wemberly-she worries in bed in the morning and evenings, worries as she plays in the yard or reads in a big comfy chair, and worries about the equipment in the playground falling apart. Soon the biggest worry ever in Wemberly's young life rears its ugly head-nursery school is on the horizon. The concomitant list of worries it engenders is Wemberly's longest ever (cleverly depicted by a double-paged spread featuring larger and larger type against a background of question marks). The school worries are typical going-to-school fears-what if Wemberly can't find the bathroom when she needs it, what if she's the only one who has brought her doll to school, and so on. Funnily, Wemberly's parents don't seem to have prepared her very well for starting school-her worries could have been easily addressed had they told her more about what to expect. But amazingly (and not very believably) things go wonderfully well at school after Wemberly meets a kindred spirit, another worried little mouse named Jewel with whom she becomes fast friends. In an overly pat ending, Wemberly happily goes home at the end of her first day of school, already looking forward to the secondday.Henkes's best works-Chrysanthemum (1991) and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse (1996), among others-are masterpieces, capturing and distilling the essence of universal childhood experiences. Unfortunately, Wemberly Worried doesn't fall into this category. It's hard to buy that her personality could undergo so radical a change just because she finds a new friend. Surely a new friendship would bring with it a whole new set of worries. The reader actually feels sorry for Wemberly, who doesn't seem to be enjoying life very much. Maybe some mouse therapy is called for. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688170271
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
408,661
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
AD170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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