Don’t Worry, Murray

h1 July 15th, 2022 by jules


“Good morning, Murray!” says the owner of a pup in David Ezra Stein’s thoroughly entertaining Don’t Worry, Murray (Balzer + Bray, June 2022). Readers never see the narrator, whose words make up the entirety of the dialogue in this rewarding story, your next best story-time read.

“Why don’t you want to go outside, Murray?” It’s raining. Hard. And Murray imagines the worst (as you can see below). That’s not the first of Murray’s worries, though. Much like the young children at whom this book is aimed, Murray knows the wider world can be filled with anxieties. But: “Don’t worry, Murray! You can wear your raincoat.” The owner reassures its pet in much the same way a parent reassures a child. But then lightning flashes, thunder strikes, and Murray hides. Stein then presents another scenario for Murray — saying hello to a new dog, whose loud bark has Murray hiding again. More scenarios follow — fireworks (and exploding balloons) at a barbecue and even an attacking pet cat indoors. But as Murray falls asleep at the end of the day, he hears an important reminder from his owner — and some much-needed encouragement: “I’m proud of you. … My brave dog.”

Murray will have children nodding their heads in recognition. The world can be scary (indoors and out), and it takes a lot of bravery just to get through a day sometimes. But facing one’s fears is a lot easier with the guidance of a trusted caretaker who can provide comfort. And Stein lays this all out in uncluttered spreads with loose, energetic lines and a warmly colored palette. Wide-eyed Murray with his floppy ears endears himself to readers. Here are some spreads so that you can see for yourself. …



Two images above: Click either one to see spread in its entirety



Two images above: Click either one to see spread in its entirety


“You know, even though it wasn’t easy,
you tried a lot of new things today.”

(Click spread to enlarge)



Two images above: Click either one to see spread in its entirety


(Click cover to enlarge)


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DON’T WORRY, MURRAY. Copyright © 2022 by David Ezra Stein. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, New York.

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