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What Do You Do with a Problem?

(What Do You Do With...)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  4,263 ratings  ·  668 reviews
From the same author and illustrator as our #1 nationally best-selling What Do You Do With an Idea? comes a new book to encourage you to look closely at problems and discover the possibilities they can hold.

What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn't seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

Hardcover, 36 pages
Published July 1st 2016 by Compendium
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  4,263 ratings  ·  668 reviews

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Lonna | FLYLēF
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not only is What Do You Do with a Problem visually stunning, there is an adorable teaching point that captured my son's attention--a winning combination that is definitely mother-approved.
Too overtly didactic in my opinion. I'm not a fan of books that are written solely to teach kids a lesson at the expense of any meaningful storyline.
David Schaafsma
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment. There's 20 (15 first round and 5 new ones for the semi-final round) and this is the eleventh being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally. I might have rated this lower but they seemed to like it, and Harry loved it (for reasons not clear to me).

This is a non-fiction book about how
Michele Knott
So many problem solving techniques to discuss with readers.
Perfect for the beginning of the year.
Perfect for all readers.
Picture books are for everyone.
"What Do You Do with a Problem?" and its predecessor, "What Do You Do With An Idea?" are so, so great for kids' development. While there's not a fantasy story going on, the text provides a life lesson that will serve children well along with fantastical drawing elements that will provide the wonder. I will read and use any book Kobi Yamada cares to write in my classroom.
Liza Nahas
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another winner from Kobi Yamada & Mae Besom! This should be paired with their What Do You Do With An Idea and placed in every child's library. And, yes, us big kids can learn something from it too. ...more
Debbie Madrid
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, it shows how running away or hiding from problems won't solve them. As well as teaching you how in every adversity there is an opportunity.
Chance Lee
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-it
The first half of this book is basically my life -- a kid has a problem, which follows him around like a storm cloud. He avoids and avoids the problem and it keeps getting larger and larger. Eventually the kid sinks into a deep depression and never wants to get out of bed (the bed part might just be me). He decides to tackle the problem, and it cracks open and gold light spills out because "every problem has an opportunity for something good."

That line is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. And rea
Joyce Yattoni
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
#bookaday This story starts out great. There are many middle schoolers who come to school every day with problems. The illustration of the problem was so realistic of how a adolescent feels when they have this problem hanging over their head. I could see the anxiety. Illustrations are breathtaking.

About 1/2 through book the character decides to tackle the problem. The message here is that every problem is an opportunity to learn, grow, be brave.

My heart goes out to those kids who are experienc
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, picture-books
The best picture book to read after the 2016 elections.Problems challenge us, shape us, push and help us discover how strong and capable we are.W e as the people need to stick together because we just might have dark times ahead of us.
Kristen Dutkiewicz
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I loved the message and thought the illustrations in this book were perfectly created and completely matched the meaning of each page!

Children (and adults!) learn the problems do not control you and you have the power to turn them into opportunities you never knew existed.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Not as potentially harmful as the other two books in the series.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Excellent, just like the last one. A must get for elem. libraries. So many kiddos who build up their problems into something giant when they aren't always. Not really. Plus lovely illustrations.
Niki (Daydream Reader)
This book would make a great mentor text for dealing with problems of all kinds.
Maren Prestegaard
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seems like this one will come in handy when worry hits the house.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charming and successful for the right audience. Some cynics may think it too didactic, or simplistic, or even metaphysical/ metaphorical. But I think it has the right balance of adventure, humor, and empathy, with a satisfying ending. I know children need to learn this lesson, and I know that I need to pay more attention to it myself.

(And no, the answer is not 'solve it.' It's richer than that, and applies even to problems that aren't straightforwardly solvable.)
An inspiring companion to What Do You Do With an Idea? Although too abstract for young readers, this will be a handy picture book to use with older readers as a writing or discussion prompt about problem solving.
Urbandale Library
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A picture book that appeals to all ages. This book inspires you to look closely at a problem and have the courage to face it. Sometimes problems seem bigger than they are and the longer you ignore it the bigger they seem to get.
Lesley Burnap
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great book by the Yamada/Besom team! Great for reading with worriers, starting something new or kicking of the school year! Enjoy!
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A little preachy (every problem brings with it an opportunity for growth), but still a great idea for a kids' book. Great illustrations.

Read this in Kate's 3rd grade class at OTA (Oct. 18, 2019).
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I felt a little less existential dread after finishing this, and the art was quite lovely. I'm definitely interested in checking out the creators' other work!
Leslie Truax
This is a pictue book that follows a young child who acquires a Problem. No matter what the kid does, he can't get rid of the problem by ignoring it, or hiding, or disgusing himself as someone else. The problem just gets bigger, and scarier. Through the book, the boy discovers both what he can do with the problem, and what the problem really is: opportunity in disguise.

This book honestly blew me away, and I immediately wanted to use it for my project. It fits in perfectly with my unit on conflic
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kids
Recommended to Jason by: Mama got it for the kids
Shelves: 2017, child-lit, fun-size
Mama got this for me to read with my youngest nephew who needs a little help with his reading. His two older sisters helped me with it, and the four of us took turns passing it around tonight. The youngest struggled with some of it, but I'm really pleased with the progress he's made since the last time I read with him which has been a couple of months. He actually got some of the harder words, so that's nice.

This is a good book for introducing a basic life skill to kids, though I think it's phil
Debbie Smith
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
I'm not sure what age they are trying to reach, but usually a picture book is meant for young children. The title lead me to think it might give guidance to solving a problem. Depending on the child, this book felt like it made a problem dark and extremely scary. Some children would only view the negative, I'm afraid and fear problems. Several pages were dedicated to how NOT to deal with a problem. Then the main character gets tired of his problem and deals with his problem head on. (The problem ...more
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
First published on my blog, Nine Pages .

This is a companion book to Yamada’s first picture book for kids, What Do You Do with an Idea? The same character returns. This time he has a problem, and it feels like it will never go away, and he can’t run away, and it seems to get bigger and bigger, until he confronts the problem head on and finds the yellow sunlight of opportunity that the cloud hides inside. Well timed for graduations, this book appeals to a broad audience. Marketed for children,
Emily Arrant
Summary: This is a fiction picture book. This book encourages kids to look closely at problems and discover the different possibilities these problems can have. The longer the problem is avoided the bigger it seems to get. The child finally decides to face it; the problem turns out to not be so bad.
Evaluation: This is a really cute story. This book could be a story for anyone or any age. It inspires people to look closely at the problem and find out why its there. It would be a great independen
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am sure some readers will feel that this book was too didactic but I love it! Because I often find myself doing exactly what this character did with his problem...trying to make it go away, then imagining that it is much worse than it actually is, worrying about what COULD happen. I love what the young character learns.

(view spoiler)
Amy Layton
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
SOBS.  I just adore this series.  I made all my coworkers on the desk with me read this series and they all had a pretty similar reaction.  The illustrations, the text, the's didactic without being too obvious about it because, let's face it, all of us have problems in our lives, and most of the time, it is easier to face them than not!  And I just love how Yamada and Besom work together to show the different steps of ignoring a problem or trying to fix it and it failing, because it ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I found the illustrations really dark and depressing, which is not necessarily bad for this subject matter. But I also didn't love the end of the story. I dunno, something about it just didn't resonate with me. I seem to be in the minority here, but maybe it just felt too...something. Not quite preachy, that's not the right word. But I wanted more story and character and less of the not-quite-preachiness.
Joanne Roberts
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an interesting concept book. The art is surreal and does a good job of illustrating a non-visual subject. I can see counselors, teachers and parents wanting to use this book to help students put problems and worries into perspective, but am not sure children will grasp the "how" of turning obstacles into opportunities. Can't really see it as a fun book kids would read on their own. Love the way the illustrator used limited color in the storytelling.
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