Hattie Harmony Worry Detective written by Elizabeth Olsen and Robbie Arnette, illustrated by Marissa Valdez, and published by Viking.
Hattie Harmony Worry Detective invites readers to Wildwood Elementary where Olsen and Arnette tell the story of first-day jitters and ways to combat them. The catchy refrain, "Worry, Worry, Go Away1 There's No Time for You Today!" will stick with readers well past the first day of a new experience and come in handy no matter what worrisome situation may arise.
Pearl Peppercorn (a porcupine) worries that no one will play with her. Seymour Swiggletooth (a woodchuck) worries the teacher may call on him. Duncan Delmar (a dolphin) panics that they won't be able to find the right bus home. All these fears are so relatable to children!
For each friend, Hattie Harmony finds a mindful solution for their situation. What's equally important is the scene where Hattie herself has a worry. A great line to remember is, "Brave people don't always feel brave inside." I appreciate how these words remind children that it's ok not to be brave all the time, that we can all benefit from mindfulness and positive self-talk.
Marissa's Valdez's illustrations, with their vintage look down to the landline twisty-cord phones add to the fun of this picture book and its endearing cast of characters.
Back matter includes an Author's Note and further explanation of the anti-anxiety tools presented in the book: mindful movement, stress balls, facing your fear, and mindful breathing.
Everyone has worries, from little worries to big worries. Regardless of their size, having tools to help control anxiety is important so that the anxiety doesn't control us.
Imagine attending Wildwood Elementary with all these new friends.
Now, imagine Pearl Peppercorn, Seymour Swiggletooth, Duncan Delmar, and Hattie Harmony on a different day of school -- a field trip day, a substitute teacher day, a fire drill day, or any other day you can imagine.
How might each of the characters react? What tools might Hattie Harmony offer them? Imagine Hattie, too. She also has her worries. How could her friends help her?
Consider how you might react in one of the above situations. Which of Hattie Harmony's tools might help you best? Or do you have another tool that you can use and share with others?
Write and/or draw pictures of worries that you and your friends have or could have and possible ways to overcome them.
Imagine what a great resource that would be!