Toby, Toby, Worry Free by Lucinda Grapenthin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young octopus must traverse the fears and worries of how his peers view him as his mother encourages him to learn to ride his bike in author Lucinda Grapenthin’s “Toby, Toby, Worry Free”.


The Synopsis

When Toby is faced with learning to ride his bike so he can play with his friends, he begins to worry and worry and worry. 

“What if I fall?” “What if other kids laugh at me?” “What if I can’t ride my bike?!” 

Mommy pauses, attuning to his behavior. She accepts his emotions and calmly engages with him, encouraging his discovery of positive steps to solve this dilemma. 

Toby learns a better way to manage his feelings by using his can-do thoughts. Now, he can have fun! 

The Review

The balance of whimsical and wonder-like illustrations with the heartfelt and emotional storytelling and an underlying tone of confronting fears and stress in childhood made this book shine so brightly. The fast pace and steady rhythm of the narrative itself made for an easy read, perfect for children and the time they share with their parents when reading.

The character growth and theme of this narrative both fueled the heart of this children’s book. The heartfelt bond between Toby and his mother was emotional and did a great job of kindling the emotional depth of the reader with their child (or vice versa). The theme of confronting one’s fears, letting go of negative thoughts, and accepting that the fears exist while still pushing forward and acknowledging the ability to overcome those fears are all fantastic messages to impart to children as they grow up.

The Verdict

Captivating, heartfelt, and engaging, author Lucinda Grapenthin’s “Toby, Toby, Worry-Free” is a must-read children’s book. The wonderful imagery and thoughtful approach to the story’s theme made this a book any parent would be happy to read with their kid. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Lucinda Taylor Grapenthin, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice and Assistant Professor at Brenau University, also serving as Clinic Director for the Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and Director of the Brenau University Play Therapy Training Institute. Dr. Grapenthin has over 20 years’ experience working with children and families as the founder of the Family and Child Development Center. She also presents at academic conferences and professional institutions on topics related to mental health disorders, such as trauma and attachment, as well as play therapy and parenting. 

Dr. Cindy lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Richard, and golden retriever, Currier. Their adult children, Alex, Kristi, and Trevor, float in and out of their home, adding delightful chaos.

About the Illustrator

Kevin Gosselin is influenced by sci-fi and fantasy art, comic books, anime, the masters and too many contemporary artists to fully list. Amongst the most influential are Richard McDonald, Frazetta, Darrel K. Sweet, Thomas Eakins, Norman Rockwell, and J.W. Waterhouse.

Kevin lives in Lake Stevens, Washington with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters Alex and Emma, as well as dogs Ollie and Maple.


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