The Worrysaurus

Also known as “the book that reduced the entirety of the children’s department to a blubbering mess.”

I love a good picture book. I can’t help it. Maybe its the primary teacher in me, but I think picture books are brilliant and sometimes really really overlooked for the fantastic stories that they tell, and how important they can be.

When The Worrysaurus landed in work last week, we decided to have an impromptu story time amongst the booksellers. This was a mistake. By the end of it, we were all emotional wrecks, sobbing on the floor, and hugging each other.

Just look at him! His little bag sitting on his little rock with the little butterfly and his little sad face.

The Worrysaurus tells the tale of a young dinosaur who wakes up with an amazing, fantastical plan for his day, including a picnic and a wander through the jungle. But, he doesn’t get too far before he starts to worry about things that could go wrong. Did he pack enough food? Is the weather going to stay nice? Is a giant meteor going to come hurtling from the sky and end life as he knows it?! (OK, maybe not that last one, but its definitely a concern dinosaurs should have…)

As our brave little dinosaur goes off on his trip, he starts feeling the anxious butterfly in his belly, and worrying more and more about what could go wrong. We’ve all been in a similar position. That feeling like everything is going a bit too well, or that there’s something you’ve absolutely forgotten to do and it’s going to come back and bite you on the bum. The Worrysaurus deals with these issues in a way that is so beautiful and so accessible to kids and grown ups alike, and there lies its importance and power. He teaches whoever reads it that it’s OK to be worried, but to remember that there are somethings that you can’t control, like the weather (or giant space rocks obliterating all life on earth), so worrying about them isn’t helpful.

What really got all of us, was a scene where our little dino pal remembers something his mum said to him: “If it’s not a happy ending then it hasn’t ended yet.” Cue every single basement bookseller bawling like tiny babies. I was reading it aloud and got choked up. Two things here. First off, this line is perfect and so so important. Secondly, what happened to this little dinosaur’s mum?! I don’t want to think about it but I do want to give him a giant hug.

This page. This is the page that ruined us all.

The Worrysaurus is the latest in a fantastic series by Rachel Bright and Chris Chatterton, and I think it’s the best one yet. Why? Because it’s universally applicable, beautifully written and illustrated (they all are but this is my personal favourite), and such a valuable, important message, especially with everything that’s going on at the moment. I’m not sure if its on purpose, but The Worrysaurus also shows a lot of autistic traits (picked up by Martha when she’d picked herself up from the sobbing ginger mess in the corner), such as not liking when plans go awry, overthinking things, and having something to help calm and focus worries. Even if it wasn’t intentional, it could still prove a valuable resource and example of coping strategies, and maybe help a child with autism see themselves in a book.

What do you think? Have you got a favourite book that deals with emotions and processing them? Let me know down below if there’s something I should check out.

One thought on “The Worrysaurus

  1. I really liked this one. I didn’t cry, but I did do an “aww bless him” which is emotional for me. Have you read Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree? That’s a picture book that deals with depression. It’s an old one but I still love it.


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