How to Apologize (Hardcover)
From the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winning creators of See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog comes a funny and handy guide that explains just how (and how not!) to say “I’m sorry.”
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.
About the Author
David LaRochelle is a recipient of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and the author of many books for young readers, including Isle of You, illustrated by Jaime Kim, and See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. David LaRochelle is very sorry that he stole his sister’s diary and read it to his next-door neighbor when he was ten years old. You’ll find him repentant and living in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Mike Wohnoutka has illustrated more than twenty books for young readers, including the ALA Notable Book Moo!, written by David LaRochelle. He is also the author-illustrator of several picture books, including the Croc & Turtle series. Mike Wohnoutka sincerely apologizes for pouring an entire carton of milk down the air vents of his third-grade classroom. He and his family have no regrets about living in Minneapolis.
“Everyone makes mistakes,” opens this guide to accountability. . .In Wohnoutka’s light gouache illustrations, the many full-bleed spreads and careful use of white space keep the tone friendly and focused. . .The perfect balance of humor and gravity delivers the message in an appealing way, and even the most outlandish scenarios are accessible. . .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)
Suggestions for how and why to apologize paired with colorful, cartoon-style illustrations outlined in soft brown lighten the instructional tone by featuring hilarious examples of situations requiring an apology. . . 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. Mostly full-bleed spreads paired with emotive animals will be met with laughs. . . an instructive primer on how to apologize.
—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.
Previous collaborators LaRochelle and Wohnoutka (Geisel Medalists for See the Cat) are loving but firm in this compassionate guide to apologizing. . . . The gouache cartooned vignettes, rendered in crisp outlines and soft washes of color, have immediacy and verve that’s both harrowing and heartfelt; while the animal characters are engaged in amusingly exaggerated situations, both parties’ emotions are thoroughly authentic. If readers feel the pang of recognition, they’ll also see that making amends is both edifying and evergreen.
The gold and brown that Mr. Wohnoutka uses to outline his figures give the scenes a friendly, sun-warmed feeling. . . . Mr. LaRochelle’s counsel here is sensible, and in the aftermath of a socially distanced pandemic may be as welcome—and as necessary—for parents as it is for their children.
—The Wall Street Journal
The prizewinning Minnesota duo of LaRochelle and Wohnoutka is back, this time tackling the topic of repentance with their trademark wit and humor. . . . This book is never preachy, even as it offers sample apologies (both sincere and otherwise). It's good-natured and funny and probably something all of us should heed.
—The Star Tribune
The old idea that apologies matter is a useful message delivered here in funny scenarios.
—The Northwest Arkansas-Democrat Gazette
LaRochelle and Wohnoutka, winners of the American Library Association’s Geisel Award for fiction for their book 'See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog,' offer funny, but useful and gentle, lessons for kids who want to make things right when things go wrong.
—The St. Paul Pioneer Press
David LaRochelle takes a rather humorous approach in explaining not only the importance of apologizing, but how to do it sincerely. With whimsical illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka, even adults will learn a thing or two about the art of the apology.
I can’t think of a better life skill to help children readjust to life with friends than learning how to apologize. Whether the offense was intentional, accidental, or a misunderstanding, this humorous story shows kids examples of when and why to say ‘sorry.’
This humorous picture book gives young readers tips, tricks, do’s, and don’ts for recognizing and delivering a heartfelt apology.
Here we have a perfect example of how-to done right. How to Apologize uses humor and compassion to discuss something vital. . . . An important topic executed with care, How to Apologize is picture book instruction at its best. Every teacher should go out and get a copy.
—100 Scope Notes
David LaRochelle’s How to Apologize (Candlewick, May 2021), illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, is a class-act primer on a difficult subject — how to say you’re sorry. It’s a challenge for even the best of humans to put their pride aside and accept and admit a wrong-doing. But David and Mike — and some gators, elephants, bulldogs, and meerkats — have your back in a book that covers it all: the universality of mistakes, the pain it can cause, how difficult it can be to apologize, why making excuses is a no-go, and much more.
—7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog