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What Do You Do With A Problem? – Book Review


From the Cover of What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada:

“What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn’t seem to be going away?

Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than expected.

This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It’s a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it’s here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem… and yourself.”


5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

The target audience for this book appears to be the general public. This tale seems to appeal ideally to children from ages 5 to approximately 10 years old or elementary/primary school. However, as the cover suggests, even adults who have struggled with a problem can relate and glean from this story. The theme of coping and handling a problem is significant to foster and adoptive families as children from traumatic places may not have had a stable adult figure in their life to model how to cope with issues or problems.

The illustrations in this book appear to be a combination of watercolor and pencil in a full array of colors. In fact the illustrator utilizes the color palette in the story to emphasize the various moods and struggles as well as the time of creativity and triumph throughout the tale. The illustrations seem to superbly carry the feelings and tone of the story as the reader works their way through the reading. The pictures are an excellent addition to the written content and will help to keep your child engaged.

The story seems to center on a young child who is recounting a time when a problem came into their life. The problem is illustrated by a dark storm cloud-like object which is personified and grows throughout the story.

Families are going to be able to quickly and easily identify various feelings and escape strategies the young child connects with the problem. The book also seems to easily allow families to see the cause and effect issues that come along with handling a problem in an unhealthy manner as well as a healthy manner.

While Transfiguring Adoption feels this book is an excellent resource for beginning a conversation about handling problems, caregivers should give careful thought as to the issue(s) they speak about with their child through this book. Caregivers should know their child and know if their child is ready to speak about past traumatic issues. In any case this book is very pertinent for beginning a healthy conversation with your child about handling issues such as: anxiety over a test at school, dealing with bullying, etc.

Transfiguring Adoption believes this wonderful tale has the ability to begin conversations which will help your family dynamically face problems together.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. How did the boy first try to make the problem go away?
  2. Why did the boy worry about his problem?
  3. What happened to the problem when the boy worried?
  4. Why is the boy not afraid of problems anymore?
  5. What is a problem you have now or had in the past?
  6. How do you think you can face it?
  7. How can your mom/dad help you face it?


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