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What Do You Do with a Problem?
Contributor(s): Yamada, Kobi (Author)

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ISBN: 1943200009     ISBN-13: 9781943200009
Publisher: Compendium Publishing & Communications
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Binding Type: Hardcover
Published: June 2016
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes - New Experience
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015955981
Age Level: 4-8
Grade Level: Preschool-3
Lexile Measure: 500 AD (Adult Directed Text)
Physical Information: 0.6" H x 8.9" W x 10.6" (1.01 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 186126
Reading Level: 2.2   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 April #4)

Yamada and Besom follow What Do You Do with an Idea? with the story of a boy plagued by a problem, which Besom imagines as a violet cloud hanging over the boy's head: "I didn't want it. I didn't ask for it. I really didn't like having a problem, but it was there." The boy wanders through a medievalesque town, accompanied by sleek, silvery flying fish that dart about like swallows. Soon the cloud grows into a storm: "The more I avoided my problem, the more I saw it everywhere." At last the boy has an epiphany: armed with goggles, his hair thrown back by the force of the storm's energy, he reaches into the heart of the cloud and finds light: "I discovered it had something beautiful inside. My problem held an opportunity!" Though some younger readers may find the story overly vague—it's easy to imagine questions like "What is his problem?" and "What is he talking about?" popping up—Yamada's inspirational prose and the romance of Besom's spreads make an impact. Ages 5–8. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 June)

PreS-Gr 1—In this follow-up to What Do You Do with an Idea?, a nameless boy has a nameless problem. He ignores it, worries about it, avoids it, and wishes it would go away. When he finally decides to tackle it, he finds that inside the problem is an opportunity to learn and grow, to be brave and to act in a positive manner. He ends by declaring that he is no longer afraid of problems, because "every problem has an opportunity for something good." This flawed and abstract story is full of adult buzzwords. The skillfully drawn but busy illustrations are dark and monochromatic (although they turn golden at the end). Adults with the experience to understand the metaphor may find the story inspiring, but children will be baffled by the didactic and confusing message. The notion that every problem contains a golden opportunity is simplistic and seems to come from a place of privilege. Viewing child abuse or life in a war zone as opportunities for personal growth is unrealistic at best and heartless at worst. Some problems are daunting, especially for the powerless, and to dispatch them so blithely is to belie their severity and their effects on young psyches. VERDICT A well-meaning but misguided look at problem-solving. Stick with any of the many stories in which relatable characters face specific challenges, like Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried, Mo Willems's Can I Play Too?, or even Virginia Lee Burton's classic Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

[Page 86]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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