How to Apologize
written by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Review Copy from Candlewick Press
Perfect. How to Apologize is a perfect book. Words and pictures partner perfectly to entertain and educate readers – a rarity in the world of picture books. Not only is it extremely difficult to write a successful, engaging picture book addressing social-emotional learning without being dogmatic, it is a challenge to get empathy and compassion on the page with the finely tuned clarity that LaRochelle and Wohnoutka bring to their book. On of the best aspects of How to Apologize is its nonjudgemental tone, which begins on the first page, "Everyone makes mistakes."
Every two pages (or so) comprise visual vignettes that illustrate the text, which (rather than a traditional narrative) makes How to Apologize engaging and successful and ultimately relatable for readers young and old (there are plenty of adults who would benefit from learning how to apologize). Where La Rochelle’s voice is gentle, understanding and straightforward, Wohnoutka’s illustrations bring humor to the tone of the book without straying into absurdity when presenting situations where someone owes someone else an apology.
After establishing situations where an apology is called for, LaRochelle acknowledges that, "Apologizing can be hard," especially if the "other person is mad or it is someone you don’t like." From there, the meat of the book addresses the title subject beautifully, showing readers how NOT to apologize, then how to apologize, in various situations. Superb examples of how to be sincere and not make excuses in an apology, followed by the beautiful suggestion that it’s never too late to apologize. Try to fix the mistake if you can, and when you can’t, "take steps to avoid making the same mistake again."
How to Apologize closes with these words worth repeating,
It might be difficult, but apologizing will make you feel better.
More importantly, it will make the other person feel better.
And that’s why we apologize.
How to Apologize is a GEM that needs to be on every bookshelf, everywhere. Thank you, David and Mike!
Don’t miss more from this dynamic duo!
And a couple of my favorite picture books by David LaRochelle!
The Best Pet of All
(on my BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2008 list!)
illustrated by the marvelous Jeremy Tankard
July 13, 2021 at 01:02PM Tanya