The Worrywarts




by Pamela Duncan Edwards
illustrated by Henry Cole

"One warm Wednesday morning", three friends decide to head out into the world to see what they can find. They gather up what they think they'll need, and are just about the head out when they each are stopped in their tracks by a worried 'what if' scenario. They calm their fears by packing different items in preparation, and then head out into the world.

Sure enough, they run into their dreaded 'what if' scenarios, but they each face their fears and save their entourage--thanks to the supplies they brought and their own courage! Bright and charming illustrations accompany the storyline, and make the silliness even more fun. If you are teaching the letter W or teaching about feelings and emotions, this whimsical book would be a fun addition to your classroom library and your lesson plans.

Not everyone liked the book. Library Journal found it to be "forced and disappointing", arguing that "the wordy text leaves no 'w' un-uttered."  With any alliterative book, there's a real risk that the device will overwhelm the storyline, and perhaps there's some truth to that in this story as well. The 'w' words are prevalent to be sure, and there are a few fairly obscure 'w' words used [the worst being liverwurst and watercress].

But overall, you don't feel tired out by them by the end of the book. (You've read one of those books before, right? Your mouth actually hurts before you even reach the end, and the weight of the alliteration weighs down the whole story.)  And we aren't the only ones who feel that way. Most reviewers liked the book, including Amazon customer reviewers, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and most importantly, our team (he he).


Reading Levels

Interest Level:  PreS-Gr.2         DRA Level:  38                  Lexile Measure: 440L
Grade Level Equiv: 3.1             Guided Reading: P


See Inside This Book

Below are two spreads from early on in the book. The first spread show the little weasels talking about venturing out into the world.


And this next spread (the next one in the book) shows the three friends preparing for their fun nature outing. On the left side of the spread, the friends are gathering lots of w-word items to take with them. Then, on the right side, one of the friends is suddenly stopped in his tracks by a crazy, 'what if' worry.


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