Gloria's Big Problem

Gloria's Big Problem
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
January 07, 2020
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Gloria loves to sing, dance, and act in her bedroom, but not in public. No way. Gloria’s big problem makes sure of that, following her wherever she goes and constantly reminding her that she’s anxious and frightened, that she’s not good enough, and that everyone will laugh at her. Anxious Gloria worries all the time, about everything. Until, one day, Gloria summons all her courage to try out for a community theater production. She marches herself to the audition, and her big problem marches right in behind her. She gets up on stage, and her big problem takes a seat in the front row and starts to laugh at her. And then at last she yells “STOP!”, and her big problem shrinks to a little problem, and Gloria wins a part in the play.

Editor review

1 review
introduction to anxiety
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
GLORIA'S BIG PROBLEM is about anxiety in children. Gloria's anxiety manifests as this large green being who follows her around and tells her about all the things that could go wrong. It often stops Gloria for doing things she would otherwise like to do, like hanging out with her friends. One day, Gloria puts her foot down and tells him to stop, conquering her anxiety and allowing her to sing aloud.

What I loved: This does a really great job of describing the way it would feel to have anxiety in terms a child could understand. We also understand Gloria's grief that her family does not believe her, not an uncommon situation. The images are descriptive and full of color. The length of the book is leaning towards a chapter book, and as such, this would be better for older picture book readers.

What left me wanting more: The book does not do a great job of showing how to treat anxiety. It would be helpful to show an approach of getting therapy or help from a counselor or something along those lines, to show children that they can get help if they need it.

Final verdict: Overall, GLORIA'S BIG PROBLEM does a good job of describing what it feels like to have anxiety in terms children can understand, complete with colorful illustrations. When reading with children, it would be helpful to discuss how anxiety can be treated and what resources there are to help.
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