Wanda's Words Got Stuck
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Wanda the little witch enjoys school. Or rather, she loves sitting quietly on her own, reading about spells, broomsticks and cauldrons. She is not so keen on the hustle and bustle and noise of the crowded classroom. Truth be told, she has real difficulty when it comes to speaking out loud when all her classmates are there. Then a new girl arrives at school and it’s soon apparent she too is painfully shy. Together, they find that friendship can make all sorts of things possible – and that sometimes you don’t even need words at all.
Written by a speech and language therapist, this book doesn’t refer to a specific condition, niftily ensuring its messages are universal, relevant to any child who has ever experienced shyness or anxiety in any form. And let’s face it, even the most confident of children can feel a bit nervous in some settings, so we can all relate to Wanda’s trepidation about performing at the school magic contest. The book avoids any suggestions of miracle cures, rather reminding us that we are all different, and our confidence levels can vary depending on the situation. But it gently reminds us of simple strategies, like taking our time and practising.
Both touching and funny, this is a great picture book for thinking about self-confidence, but also acceptance and how we can support others when they need it. Rhyming text, an endearing cast of diverse characters and delightfully vibrant artwork create the perfect blend, served with a generous dusting of magic.