Tuesday 14 June 2011

The Worry Tree by Marianne Musgrove

Pages - 130
Published by Catnip Books in 2010
Aimed at 9 years old and older.
Book kindly sent to me by publisher for an honest review.

Juliet Jennifer Jones opened the door, stepped out of the toilet and walked straight into her little sister. 
'Eight minutes and forty-seven seconds,' said Ophelia, clicking her stopwatch. 'What were you doing in there?'
'Mum! ' shrieked Juliet. 'Oaf's timing me in the toilet again!'

Being a former teacher, I always get excited when I find a book that can be used in the classroom and actually be the basis of a topic to work throughout a term. Well The Worry Tree is one of those books. This is a book that could be used as a PSHE ( Personal, Social, Health and Economic) resource with ease allowing children to produce their own worry trees.

The book introduces us to Juliet, a worrier. She worries about a lot of different things - she worries about her annoying little sister who always interferes with her stuff, her parents constantly arguing, her Nana getting old and her two friends constantly fighting over her.

She finds relief when her parents finally give her her own bedroom which upon decorating,  she discovers a painting of a worry tree that had been on the wall since her grandmother was little. Juliet wonders if this tree will be able to help her with all her worries.

This book is a delightful read which is rather humorous in places, as well as poignant in others. The characters within the book are adorable and keep you entertained throughout the book. Oaf is definitely an annoying little sister, but a funny one at that. Any parent reading this book alongside a child, will want to comfort Juliet and help her to deal with her worries. I have seen so many children pass through my classroom who would have benefited from a book like this; it is the type of book you want a good supply of  in each school to hand out to the parents of the children who worry about everything.

The book holds a moral within the story. It shows that all the worries Juliet has are not really her worries and she needs to let others deal with them so that they don't play on her mind. It deals with a sensitive issue that plagues many (both adults and children alike) and helps the reader to let the worries disburse like bubbles.

At the back of the book, there is a section where a child can write their worries down allowing the animals from the worry tree to take care of them for a while whilst the child gets on with being just a child and enjoying the moment.

I would have loved this book as a child, as it really puts things into perspective. I actually came away thinking about all the things I tend to worry about and realised I also had a lot I could discard. If a book can have that affect on a adult, imagine how it would help a child.

An ideal, quick and easy read to help the worriers you know lighten their worry load.


  1. Oh I have had the comment box open for an hour, ooops!

    Anyway yes, a good book for kids and adults alike. I worry a lot

  2. Sounds wonderful, and the premise reminds me a bit of The 10PM Question (which I loved).

  3. Do you think this is gender specific or that boys might enjoy it as well? Lovely post :D

  4. Blodeuedd -that is the both of us then.

    Nymeth - I haven't read The 10pm Question but it does sound good. I would imagine this one for a younger reader.

    Animewookie - The main characters are girls so I am not sure if a boy would enjoy it as much.

  5. Thanks, i'll have to check it out. I am always looking for new stuff to use in the classroom as well.

  6. What a lovely cover.

    Ihad to laugh at that opening paragraph - I wonder in how many households this scene has played out over the years. I know it had me thinking of my sister and I as teenagers.

  7. I think I need a worry tree. I wonder if my husband would object if I painted one in our bedroom.

  8. Aww that sounds a lovely story. I think I would have loved it when I was younger too. I might even hunt it down and read it now :-)

  9. This sounds nice. 'let the worries disburse like bubbles'<-I like that!

  10. This sounds like such a cute book. I definitely would have loved this as a kid. I worried a lot then about all sort of things outside of my control (still do!).

  11. We are all natural worriers and this edifying book is such a good one to be read.

  12. Awww, this sounds like such a sweet read. When I hear about books like this, it always makes me wish I had kiddies to share it with. Hehe.


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