Wemberly Worried
by Kevin Henkes

summary, lesson and activity ideas,
DRA & Lexile, a peek inside, etc

Wemberly Worried
Summary of Wemberly Worried
Little Wemberly is a darling little mouse with a problem: she can't stop worrying!  Wemberly worries about everything, from little things to big things. She worries when she's at home, she worries when she's out,
she's out, she even worries at the playground! She is especially worried 
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about the first day of school, but when she gets there and meets Jewel--

a fellow worrier--Wemberly finds that the world isn't quite so scary after all now that she has a friend at her side.

We recommend Wemberly Worried for the first week of school, as it is "an excellent vehicle to address children's fears about starting school." (SLJ)  And, it's also great for using during units on feelings/emotions since "this winning heroine speaks to the worrywart in everyone" (Publ. Weekly, starred review).

Beyond that, Wemberly Worried is a great book to read any day of the year! As School Library Journal said
in their starred review of the book, "Henkes once again puts his finger on the pulse of young children, combining good storytelling, careful characterization, and wonderfully expressive artwork to create an entertaining and reassuring picture book." So true!

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Reading Stats
Interest Level:  K-Gr.2      DRA: 13-14
Reading Level: age 4-8     Lexile: AD170L

Topics Covered    
First day or week of school

Awards & Rating
Caldecott Honor Book 1994
Intl Reading Ass. Teachers & Childrens Choice
Average Amazon Rating:
4.5 stars (26 reviews)
Wemberly Worried

Lesson & Activity Ideas

Lesson Idea:  Letter Writing Activity
If you are teaching letter writing, why not have your students write letters to Wemberly, encouraging her and telling her about their own first days of school or their own worries that they've dealt with. We do this and the result is quite adorable. (We will post a picture of a few examples soon once we do this activity again with our students this year.)

Reading/Discussion Idea:  Worrying is Universal
Read this book to your class and whenever you come across something Wemberly worries about, have the students give a thumbs up if they have worried about it before or a thumbs worry dolls down if they haven't. Afterward, discuss Wemberly's worries and encourage children to share some of their own. Then, share the "Worry Doll" tradition that children in Guatemala use to deal with their own worries. Read more about it  here. This
will help reinforce that everyone worries
and talking about it really helps!

Activities PDF:  Created by the publisher
For fun handouts related to this book, click here to download a PDF created by the publisher. There's a word search, a coloring page, a mouse maze, a dot to dot, directions and cut outs for stick puppets, a 'worry list' handout, a quiz show game, and more.

Peek Inside

Here's a spread from inside this book--included here to show the illustration style and give you a general idea of the amount of text that is on the pages.  These sample pages occur at the beginning of the book, when readers learn that "Wemberly worried about everything. / Big things" (with little Wemberly saying 'I wanted to make sure you were still here.')  The page after this one continues the sentence with "little things, and things in between."

Wemberly Worried

On this spread, Wemberly is shown worring all throughout the day. Nothing her parents or grandma says helps to calm her nerves (including the advice on hippy grandma's t-shirt: "Go with the flow.")

Wemberly Worried

As with all Kevin Henkes books, the real charm in his illustrations comes in the small details. If you liked Chrysanthemum and her adorable red boots, you'll love cute little Wemberly as well!

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