Book Review: Margo Thinks Twice by Monica Arnaldo

Margo Thinks Twice by Monica Arnaldo is a picture book. Margo is an imaginative, adventurous little girl who has just one problem — worry has found its way into her life. She sometimes feels nervous and uncomfortable, especially inside the wild world her imagination creates. Whenever her mom gives instructions, Margo’s mind turns the everyday advice into worst-case scenarios. Mom tells Margo to be careful with the craft glue, and Margo imagines becoming stuck to all the furniture and decorations in her room. Mom advises Margo not to swing too high, and Margo envisions ending up on the roof.

Margo Thinks Twice is a picture book about a young lady that takes the words of her mother to heart. Every warning her mother gives leads Margo to consider the worse case scenario, the illustrations of which a fun and contain little clues toward the final conclusion. Now, I both really like this book, and have some reservations with it. I thin the illustrations are wonderful- they capture Margo’s very real worries while still including humor and additional important information. I like that at no point, even in the illustrations, are Margo’s fears mocked or belittled. Her worries are treated as legitimate and important by her mother, along with a solution that can help both of them worry a little less about everything being perfect.


I was not thrilled with the worries it left me, as a mom, that I might be causing anxiety in my kids with such simple requests and common phrases, and that they haven’t told me. Granted both my kids tell me everything, included things that I have no need to know, such as the exact number of goldfish they ate or left behind at lunch, so I am not overly anxious. However, it is not necessarily that it raised my awareness of how some seemingly simple things can be anything but to my children- or anyone really. Literature, and art of all sorts, is intended to get people thinking and maybe make them a little uncomfortable- or at least wake them up a little or insight emotion. So, that this mean the author has done their job. 
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