How to Apologize

How to Apologize
by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Candlewick Press, May 2021
Ages: Preschool to Grade 3
ISBN 978-1536209440

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Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone knew how to apologize? Luckily, this humorous guidebook is full of practical tips about when, why, and how to say you’re sorry. From a porcupine who accidentally popped his friend’s balloon to a snail who was running so fast he stepped on a sloth’s toes, hilarious examples and sweet illustrations abound. For both listeners who are just learning and older readers who need a refresher, this book will come as a welcome reminder that even though apologizing can be hard, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Be sure to check out these free downloadable extension ideas:

* a fun coloring and drawing sheet
* a simple creative writing activity

Awards and Recognition
Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2021

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How to Apologize.
Book Reviews
"'Everyone makes mistakes,' opens this guide to accountability. Every page shows a different situation in which someone owes another an apology: when a penguin parachutes into an alligator’s bathroom during bathtime, when student politicians trade jabs, when a giraffe has borrowed a worm’s socks without asking, or when a chicken breaks a goat’s violin...In Wohnoutka’s light gouache illustrations, the many full-bleed spreads and careful use of white space keep the tone friendly and focused. Without ever feeling preachy or prescriptive, the calm, even, nonjudgmental tone reminds readers that “apologizing can be hard,” but it’s important to be sincere and simple without making excuses. The perfect balance of humor and gravity delivers the message in an appealing way, and even the most outlandish scenarios are accessible. Most of the scenes are entire little stories in and of themselves while a couple have slightly longer resolutions. Children and adults alike can see themselves in both the aggrieved party and the wrongdoer, all presented with understanding and compassion. Equally useful as a lesson on social-emotional dynamics and as a story, this book has a place on every shelf. A necessary and entertaining approach to conflict resolution." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“Humorous examples of sincere and insincere apologies drive the messages home, while the illustrations continue to provide comic relief as reparation and restoration of relationships are achieved. VERDICT: Straightforward text combined with funny illustrations make for an instructive primer on how to apologize. Children will delight in the hilarious animal antics while absorbing the explanatory lesson without didacticism.” (School Library Journal)
“With applicability well beyond its reading level, this latest outing from the creators of See the Cat: Three Stories about a Dog (2020) and other clever romps focuses on the importance of apologizing for accidents or offenses and how to do it properly. Wohnoutka lightens the earnest tone of LaRochelle’s pitch with comical scenes of anthropomorphic cartoon animals... Along with rightly acknowledging that it might be hard, or even impossible, to fix mistakes, the author closes with a promise that saying sorry and meaning it will make you and, more important, the other person feel better.” (Booklist)
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