Book Review: What Do You Do With a Problem? By Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With A ProblemI love picture books. I loved them as a child, and I still love them as an adult. When I went back to school, one of the first classes I took was a Children’s Literature course. One of the things I learned in that course is that picture books are designed so that the pictures are for the kids and the words are for the adults. I can see how that’s true with several picture books. There are jokes in certain books that go over kiddos’ heads but manage to give the adults a chuckle.

But, as an adult, I have developed a real appreciation of both the text and the illustrations in picture books. It’s not just an appreciation of the art that goes into these books, though the art is often what makes a few words on a page come to life. But it’s more about the life lessons that picture books instill in children while offering a gentle reminder to adults as well.

One such picture book is What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom.

When I visit the bookstore, I always stop to browse the children’s section. I love seeing what’s new in kid lit as well as the displays that the stores put out for holidays and seasons like back to school. What Do You Do With A Problem? has been on display for some time in my local store and the title had piqued my interest. So on my most recent visit, I decided to pick it up and see what it was all about.

To my delight, What Do You Do With A Problem? is one of those special books that, I believe, has just as much meaning for adults as it does for kids. The book tells the story of a young boy who has a problem that just won’t go away – not through wishing, not through ignoring it, and not through avoiding it. In fact, not only would the problem not go away, but the boy finds that the more he worries about it, the bigger the problem becomes. Does that sound familiar to anyone else because, it sure rang true for me!

The boy learns that the only way to make the problem go away is to face it. When he faces it, he learns an important lesson. Every problem is simply an opportunity to learn and to grow.

This book gives a wonderful message to kids about facing their problems and worries head on and also serves as a gentle reminder for adults – like me! – who struggle with worrying sometimes.

The book is beautifully illustrated, showing the boy fighting his way through a rough storm, only to come out on the other side to a lighter, brighter, problem-free sky.

I loved this book! I hope you will check it out and share it with the kiddos and adults in your life.


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