A kindergarten to third grade nonfiction read, All Birds Have Anxiety describes the debilitating and all-pervasive nature of severe anxiety, juxtaposing emotions with beautiful yet telling pictures of birds. Hoopmann explains how everyone feels anxiety at some point in their lives and why certain anxiety can be good for achieving goals and working harder and faster when needed. Unfortunately, others have more anxiety, even when everything is going well, that prohibits everyday functioning. Negative and even frightening anxiety, as Hoopmann writes, is when nothing gets done, we want to be left alone, we cancel plans, and we feel as though everything is out of control. There are coping mechanisms such as cuddling with a pet, exercise, eating well, and going for walks, and Hoopmann ends on an optimistic note with a variety of solutions. Medication and therapy are not discussed.
As other critics have mentioned, the text in All Birds Have Anxiety is a bit long and complex for younger readers. However, the book is well researched, and the pictures, each credited to different photographers, are crisp and gorgeously paired with the more serious descriptions of anxiety: A pelican is captured with its mouth wide open as anxiety is like being filled with a scream, a potoo hilariously has incredibly broad eyes when it cannot sleep, and readers see a page full of penguins when crowds fill us with fear. All Birds Have Anxiety is a solid title for children and parents wanting to learn more about and discuss anxiety.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
All Birds Have Anxiety by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017)
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