What Do You Do With a Problem? was published in 2016 by Compendium. This story, written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom, follows a child through their journey with a problem. The child tries to ignore their problem but quickly realizes that this problem starts to take over and demand their attention. The child realizes the problem is not going to go away on its own and they will have to face the problem head on. In doing so, they learn their problem is not what they thought it was at all.
Not only does the story address an issue that everybody experiences throughout their life, it provides hope for everybody as they face the problems they will face. The author does note that this is not only a book to help children learn how to deal with their problems, but it is a book that people of all ages can learn from.
The illustrations of the story were very fascinating to me. Throughout the story, Benson does a wonderful job of capturing the emotions of the child through the facial expressions and colors used in the background. Besides the subtle colors used for the child, the only other colors used are purple and yellow. These complementary colors are used to portray two very different emotions and detail the transition in the story. The purple, which is also the color of the cover under the book jacket, is used for the “problem.” As the problem becomes bigger and bigger, the colors become deeper and deeper purple. Once the child starts to face the their problem the colors start to brighten as yellow is introduced. I also enjoyed the use of these colors to depict what the child was focused on, as the rest of the illustrations were black and white.
This book, not only works to teach an important lesson to its audience, it does so with beautiful and well designed illustrations.
-Anna Lee McLean