What Do You Do With a Problem?
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What Do You Do With a Problem?

5.0 2
by Kobi Yamada
"What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn't seem to be going away?
Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn't so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up


"What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn't seem to be going away?
Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn't so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It's a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it's here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem… and yourself.

What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us to discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don't always want them, problems have a way of bringing unexpected gifts.

So, what will you do with your problem? Now that's up to you."

Editorial Reviews

B&N Reads
If you've every had a problem and chosen to ignore it, chances are it hasn't gone away. Instead, it's gotten bigger—and likely more persistent. This follow-up toWhat Do You Do With an Idea? shows us, quite simply, the life cycle of a problem. Readers of all ages are reminded that a challenge makes us more courageous, and when we are encouraged to confront our predicament head-on, we often find that it's less daunting than we originally perceived it to be. Read More
Publishers Weekly
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. (July)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—In this follow-up to What Do You Do with an Idea?, a nameless boy has a nameless problem. He ignores it, worries about it, avoids it, and wishes it would go away. When he finally decides to tackle it, he finds that inside the problem is an opportunity to learn and grow, to be brave and to act in a positive manner. He ends by declaring that he is no longer afraid of problems, because "every problem has an opportunity for something good." This flawed and abstract story is full of adult buzzwords. The skillfully drawn but busy illustrations are dark and monochromatic (although they turn golden at the end). Adults with the experience to understand the metaphor may find the story inspiring, but children will be baffled by the didactic and confusing message. The notion that every problem contains a golden opportunity is simplistic and seems to come from a place of privilege. Viewing child abuse or life in a war zone as opportunities for personal growth is unrealistic at best and heartless at worst. Some problems are daunting, especially for the powerless, and to dispatch them so blithely is to belie their severity and their effects on young psyches. VERDICT A well-meaning but misguided look at problem-solving. Stick with any of the many stories in which relatable characters face specific challenges, like Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried, Mo Willems's Can I Play Too?, or even Virginia Lee Burton's classic Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

Compendium, Incorporated, Publishing & Communications
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet 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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What Do You Do With a Problem? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MomsChoiceAwards 10 months ago
A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami More than 1 year ago
HERE'S THE WAY TO SOLVE REAL PROBLEMS: HONOR THE JOURNEY TO THE ROOT OF ANY PROBLEM. This book inspires you, whether you’re a toddler or in the twilight of life, to face a problem head on. Sure, it’s easy to avoid, hide, ignore, bury, or deny it’s even there. But this story perfectly illustrates the art of unpacking the details of a stubborn problem. Yes! Go ahead and stare into that storm cloud and find your unique route to revealing what they often are: riddles to be solved, challenges to be overcome, lessons to be learned. Staring into the eye of your storm gives you a world of possibilities to harness its now known energy – to see it as unlimited opportunity. This is certainly a better way to solve our world’s most intractable problems. Bravo!