Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective

Viking. Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593351444.
PreS-Gr 2–Hattie Harmony is a self-proclaimed “worry detective” who uses her skills (and tool belt) to help anxious students—including herself—at Wildwood Elementary throughout the first day of school. Hattie cheerfully shares practical tools and strategies with her classmates to help them cope with their emotions, from first day jitters to worries about speaking in class and anxiety over finding the right bus. Hattie and her schoolmates are all anthropomorphized animals, and while they lack characterization beyond their respective worries, they are depicted vibrantly by Valdez, whose colorful artwork is charming and expressive. The lively illustrations are more engaging than the text, which is didactic in tone but does offer affirmations and accessible guidance that may benefit some young readers. Back matter includes a note from the authors and a brief overview of each of the tools featured in the book (mindful movement, stress balls, facing fear, and mindful breathing).
VERDICT A suitable SEL resource where titles on mindful coping strategies are needed.

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