Thursday, June 2, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and fifty-three

There are some people out there who are very rarely intimidated by anything. I'm sorry to say that I am not one of these people. Leaving my comfort zone makes me feel uncomfortable, and when I was a kid I tried to avoid doing things that were unfamiliar. I therefore feel a strong kinship with the main character in today's picture book. Hannah is a duck who has her fears, and who needs help to overcome them.

Anji Yamamura
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Kane/Miller, 2008, 978-1-933605-74-6
For six days a week Hannah Duck is “peaceful and content,” staying at home with Gigi the parakeet and KameKame the turtle. On Sundays Hannah goes for a walk and this makes her very anxious and worried. Every Sunday she looks through the park gate, and every Sunday she turns around and goes back home. She just can’t make herself walk through the gate into the unknown.
   Every Sunday Gigi and KameKame ask Hannah how her walk went and Hannah pretends that everything went well and that she had a good time. Then one Sunday Hannah decides to come clean. She tells her friends that she doesn’t like her Sunday walks because they scare her. When he hears this, Gigi offers to go with Hannah. Perhaps if she has a friend with her, she will not be so frightened to try something new.
   Going someplace that is unfamiliar makes many people feel anxious and unsure. Often they avoid going someplace simply because they are afraid of it. In this book, Anji Yamamura addresses this issue with sensitivity and warmth, showing young readers how rewarding it is to overcome your fear of the unknown. After all, you may discover something that will make your life happier and richer. She also celebrates the power of friendship, showing to great effect how friends can help one do things that are seemingly impossible. 

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