Art, Books, Family, Life, Reviews

Book Review: I’m Stretched

Stretched, strrrretchchcheddddd – honestly, I feel exactly this way now – the way the girl in I’m Stretched feels – all stretched out to the limits and did the number of plates I am juggling increase? (or maybe I just need to organize, or maybe learn to do things differently or maybe, simply maybe there really is a lot going on) But whatever the reason, right now, I just need to feel a little less stretched! And reading this book now was timely that way.

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Book Review

I’m Stretched

Title: I’m Stretched
Author: Julia Cook
Illustrator: Stephanie Dehennin
Publishers: National Center for Youth Issues / IBPA
Pub Date: 17 Oct 2019
Genre: Children’s Fiction , Health, Mind & Body
Age-Range: 8 – 11 years (and up!)
Source: NetGalley digital review copy

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Award-winning children’s book author and parenting expert, Julia Cook, reminds readers – adults and children – that stress is a part of life for everyone (young and old alike). While we cannot eliminate it completely, we can control how it impacts us and our quality of life. Cook uses this story to provide tools that can help make life less stressful.

My Thoughts

Henri, the main character, feels stretched, forgetful, and feels that she needs many more Henris to get all the things done. She worries, she wonders, and she worries some more, and talks to her mom about how she is feeling. Her mom then explains that she is stressed, explains stress, and what to do about it.

As a parent of two, I can relate to the problems the main character in this book is facing. Kids today are doing so many things, and it seems to keep adding up each year. Then there is family conflicts as well as peer pressure, which adds to the growing list of stressors. And as kids are still trying to handle all that, it all starts building up too quickly which turns into stress and kids (adults too) don’t know how to handle all that.

I love the lessons the book imparts – the tips, tools and activities to use to help deal with stress. Some of them are

  • it is ok to be stressed (oh so much better than saying not to stress which I do often – note to myself – stop saying that, instead teach how to destress)
  • you need to treat your mind and body with care to avoid/reduce stress
  • some stress can be good stress and can help you
  • there is stress you can control (related to you personally) and that you cannot (outside/others)
  • you can turn to family for help (love this one)
  • be grateful, be calm, be kind, be mindful are all reminders among others that everyone can use

And of course, I totally love the illustrations. They remind you of people you know, they are relate-able, and they are beautifully done, and oh so bright and colorful too!

Favorite Lines

These lines below that tell us the pros of stress, and it is so true.

Everyone has stress
some stress can be good
it can warn you when you are in danger
and make you do what you should.

And these lines are definitely ones that warmed my heart as the mother tells the daughter

Let me be your human dust pan
Tell me about all of your stress
You vent, I’ll listen Get it all out
Give it your very best


Overall, this is a wonderful resource with ideas that I need to remember to use for myself and with my kids too. An excellent resource for tweens (and teens), parents, teachers, and other caregivers: one that will inform and warm with the words, and inspire & “aawwwee” with the adorable & relate-able artwork.

So get it now for your home or classroom library!

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley for the digital review copy of the featured book. These thoughts are my honest opinions of the book.

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Book Review: I'm Stretched

And now, the end of this post

Dear reader, what are your ways to “destress”? Do let me know. And how do you deal with/help with stress in your loved ones?

Here are my previous posts for the month:

17 thoughts on “Book Review: I’m Stretched

  1. To de-stress I usually write or listen to music or write and listen to music. LOL
    And other times when I have no language left in me – I will watch ridiculous television (that doesn’t requite thoughts or insights or brain power.) Sometimes I will go for a drive and sometimes… I will take a nap.

    I love the illustrations in this book. So many of us are unbelievably stretched right now – this is a help, definitely!

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