Olivia Wrapped in Vines

Orca. Feb. 2022. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459831032.
K-Gr 3–Olivia is a young girl who seems to be very typical with her red sneakers, bike, and squishy stuffed lion. What you cannot see, though, are the thorny vines that encircle her when she least expects it. The vines aren’t actually there, of course, but Olivia feels the pain they cause every day. Her triggers for anxiety can be big things, such as jumping off the diving board in swim class, or seemingly small things, such as talking to strangers. Big or small, the vines tighten until she feels unable to move, and nobody knows about them but her. Still, there are times when the vines start acting up and her kind teacher, Solange, senses that Olivia is having difficulty. Solange gives her ideas for keeping those vines under control. Realistically, Olivia’s journey to managing the vines is not without bumps. The illustrations are a great match for the story and allow readers to see and feel the vines as Olivia must. These scenes are evocative and provide endless opportunities for discussion with young children.
VERDICT This book is ideal for all libraries as a non-threatening and productive story that can give hope to children who feel like Olivia.

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