Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury, £6.99 paperback)

Most of us think of childhood as a carefree time, but it is easy to forgot that even very small children can have worries.

Just like us, they may find them hard to explain and may not know how to deal with them.

There have been quite a few picture books brought out to help children deal with this, and to get the dialogue about feelings going. After all, the habit of talking about how we feel is important to learn, and the earlier we do this the better.

In Ruby’s Worry, 'the worry' is visualised as a messy-looking yellow cloud.

It starts off small but as the book progresses, it grows and grows until her world becomes ever greyer – a clever trick to show the reader how things are affecting Ruby.

Normally she is a happy girl enjoying life and we see how the worry changes that enjoyment. It is also pointed out that although the worry becomes huge to her, no one else can see it.

Eventually she sees a sad boy on a bench and recognises that he has a worry too. By talking together about their worries, they disappear.

It is a really clever book that has positive message. At the front, the author has provided his own message and a checklist of what to do yourself: 'What am I feeling' and 'Who can I talk to about it' being the important points to take home.

The other great thing about this book is it is just as meaningful to adult readers, so a good one for the whole family to take on board.

Philippa Morris

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