The huge bag of worries is a children’s picture book written by Virginia Ironside and illustrated by Frank Rogers. The book follows the daily life of a young named Jenny who worries about absolutely everything, but because she does not know how to stop worrying a huge bag of worries appears at the end of her bed. This bag follows her around everywhere she goes, and no matter what she tries; the huge bag will not go away. Jenny cannot find anyone to talk to about it because she thinks that they will not understand and therefore she begins to think that this huge bag will never disappear. But then hope is found for Jenny when she confines in an old lady who opens up the bag and talks to her about each one. Jenny then realises that those worries do not seem that big after all, and that sharing them with someone else really helps.
This book draws upon real life situations and presents problems that children might worry about, meaning that children can identify with those feelings, but also be encouraged to talk and share with others how they are feeling. The author poses questions to the reader as new problems appear which means that children can really engage with what they think should happen next, or what they would do if they were in that situation. This is great book to use as a starting point to get children to talk about things that worry them, or things that they are not sure about perhaps with a group of children or in a whole class setting. The illustrations by Frank Rogers convey the sense of anxiety that the young girl is feeling as more and more detail is added to the illustrations as the storyline unfolds. The use of vibrant colours really brings the book alive as the reader is encountered with this ‘huge bag of worries’ present on every page, each time looking as if it is getting bigger and bigger as it is filled with more worries. The book contains a variety of different characters, as the young girl asks different people what she should do to make the bag go away and thus the book is rich in dialogue and conversational vocabulary. After each opinion is offered, the author provides insight into how that makes Jenny feel, which helps children understanding her reasoning.This, together with the use of simple vocabulary makes the book particularly suitable for children in KS1 or in the lower end of KS2.
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