Go Away, Worry Monster!
Robin Tatlow-Lord
Publisher: EK Books
ISBN: 9781925820393
Awards Year: 2021
Category: CBCA Award for New Illustrator
The publisher says...

Worry Monster loves ‘helping’ Archie worry, especially the night before he starts his new school. Archie feels so anxious that his head hurts, his tummy flutters and his heart pounds. He soon realizes that the only way to feel better is to make Worry Monster go away. He does his belly breaths and challenges his inner fears by facing facts. Go Away, Worry Monster!  gives children useful strategies to cope with their anxieties and stress, showing them how to make their own Worry Monsters leave. 

The illustrator says...

What does reaching the CBCA 2021 shortlist mean to you? 

THRILLED would be the best word to describe my feelings. I had been hoping and dreaming of making picture books for most of my adult life. Before I was contacted by EK Books, my own Worry Monster had been whispering to me that I would never get published and should just give up. So it was already a great honour just to create a real book, hold it in my hands and see children reading it. Being shortlisted for the CBCA Awards is on another level entirely. I worked in a bookshop for many years, so those beautiful bronze stickers mean a lot to me. I could not be more pleased. :-)

On creating Archie and Worry Monster

There are only two proper characters in this book: Worry Monster and Archie. From my early character sketches Archie stayed more or less the same sleepy, tousle-headed little boy, although his hair grew longer and spikier! Designing Worry Monster was a different story. I found that to be a huge challenge. It was always clear to me that he mustn’t be a scary monster. He had to be both sad and silly. Beyond that, though, he was tricky to pin down. He started life as a glum-looking beast with a pig snout and spindly arms, which my publisher approved, but I wasn’t satisfied. I just wasn’t getting the right feeling from him. I spent hours and hours inventing different kinds of monsters. Slippery or shaggy, horned or hulking, cute, crawling or clawed - nothing felt right. Almost at my wit’s end, I doodled a goofy, gloomy sock-puppet lizard. He immediately made me chuckle and unlocked Worry Monster. With the sock, he felt imaginary and absurd, and from there on it was smooth scribbling.

The CBCA judges say...

Tatlow-Lord has used coloured pastel pencils on dark-coloured surfaces to create an evocative interpretation of night-time, to impressive effect. Her rich and textured drawings support the minimal text and create a colourful worry monster; a quirky version of a dragon with a sock on its head. The illustrations ‘grow’ and ‘diminish’ the ego/'worry monster' to reassure children about common night-time fears. The use of design to pace and heighten the atmosphere of the tale is to be commended in someone new to this narrative form. Tatlow-Lord's illustrations are confident and well considered and will help readers relate to this story.

The Reading Time reviewers say...
Click here to read the Reading Time review.
Teaching Notes for this book...

The publisher has generously made teaching notes available for this book. Click on the icon below to view these resources.