In today’s information age, A Story of Whoa by Chris Corbett is a relevant and empowering tool for our children to cope with sad world events and make a difference through kindness and justice.
Table of Contents
I don’t know about you, but I’m in a constant battle between wanting to keep myself informed and wanting to keep my sanity. Like Whoa, I feel my heart sink whenever I watch the news. What to do, then?
Whoa has the lovely tradition of spending the evening with his dad, drinking hot cocoa, and watching TV. But every time the news show injustice, cruelty, and tragedy, Whoa’s heart sinks. How can he cope with this?
A Story of Whoa by Chris Corbett is a relevant book for today’s information age and the internal turmoil it’s causing. Kids are more informed than ever before. Whether we like it or not, they are exposed to a flurry of information coming from all sorts of screens and devices. And it’s not all cute cat videos. Simply watching the news of a disaster puts kids at risk for developing PTSD symptoms, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other institutions, warns us about the devastating psychological effects of eco-anxiety on today’s youth.
While it’s every parent’s decision to exercise caution around the access of information, I think “A Story of Whoa” presents a very important message: giving our kids agency and empowering them to take action against the unfair or sad events in our world is one of the best ways to help them deal with the feelings of helplessness and doom that these circumstances bring.
Whoa’s dad does a great job in this respect. He not only listens and validates Whoa’s ideas but also gently guides him through the best way to cope and combat cruelty, injustice, and tragedy.
The illustrations by Richardo Galvao are not too corny or bright, perfectly complementing the book’s topic. They’re also quite gender-neutral, which makes the book easily relatable.
But A Story of Whoa is not a gloomy book. The use of onomatopoeias brings a comic-book-like element to the story that kids will love. Moreover, the author balanced the grim tone of some parts with Whoa’s funny martial arts antics. Another commendable aspect is that the book shows how we can use the Internet and other information sources to learn fun, useful things that make us happy.
While the vocabulary is simple enough for elementary school-aged children, the author also introduces abstract concepts, such as “tragedy,” and also fun terms that can be new to some kids, like “Jujitsu.”
If I were to mention an area of improvement, it would be the liberal capitalization of some words. While I understand there’s some creative leniency around this, I think books for kids should be particularly strict with grammar since they set the guidelines for how kids will spell.
A Story of Whoa is a key read for kids aged 7 to 11. It will teach children that intentionally speaking up and exercising kindness and empathy is one of our best tools to turn the frown upside down. It is also a fundamental read for parents and caregivers, teaching to give kids the space and loving guidance that empower young ones to exercise the personal responsibility that can change our world for the best.
- Title: A Story of Whoa
- Author: Chris Corbett
- Genre: Children’s Book
- Theme: Justice, Responsibility, Awareness, Current Affairs, Educational
- Publication Date: April 21, 2023
- ISBN or ASIN: B0C1JK6KHS
- Number of Pages: 42
- Minimum Audience Age: 7
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 0
- Religious themes: 0
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 1
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 0
- Other adult themes: 0
Children’s Book Features
- Good role models for younger ones: Not specified by the author
- Moral values: Not specified by the author
- Good social manners: Not specified by the author
- Age-appropriate language and topics: Yes
- Age-appropriate illustrations: Yes
- Gained the approval of a licensed educator or professionals in a relevant field: Not specified by the author
- Based on scientifically-proven data or similar information: Not specified by the author
- Produced through industry-standard research processes: Not specified by the author
- Other relevant information:
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 2 stars
- Other factors: 3 stars
- Overall: 4.1 out of 5
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