Don't Worry, Murray

by David Ezra Stein (Author) David Ezra Stein (Illustrator)

Don't Worry, Murray
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

The perfect gift for dog lovers!

Bark, George meets Wemberly Worried in this new classic picture book from David Ezra Stein, Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Interrupting Chicken and Leaves. The ideal read for back-to-school anxiety and soothing nerves all year long.

Murray worries...about lots of things.

He doesn't want to go out in the rain. He's scared of the barking dogs at the park. Fireworks make him jump.

But gradually he learns that he can put on a raincoat. He can make new friends. He can be brave.

From Caldecott Honor-winning artist David Ezra Stein comes a tender and reassuring story about facing our fears, whatever they may be.

Select format:


An entertaining look at dealing with fears.

Horn Book Magazine

Starred Review
Children who recognize themselves in Murray will feel seen and, hopefully, empowered. A gem of a picture book, expertly crafted and oh-so-relatable.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Stein's (The Worm Family Has Its Picture Taken) wide-eyed, floppy-eared, and utterly adorable protagonist is a small pup in an often overwhelming world, shown in fluid multimedia cartoons as far from in command of his surroundings. Murray worries about a lot of things: getting washed away by a rainstorm, a big dog in the park who might be a bully, the cat print hung near his bed that, to Murray's eyes, seems downright ghoulish. But the omniscient narrator--Murray's loving owner--never belittles the pooch, instead offering whatever's needed to help Murray venture out into the world. Rainstorm? Murray gets a snappy yellow slicker that makes him wag his tail. Big dog? The narrator offers reassurance: "He's nice." Scary feline art? "I'll stay right here with you while you fall asleep." The solutions aren't absolutely foolproof: that big friendly dog still has a very loud bark. But Murray knows, as readers will, that being loved, looked out for, and celebrated as "brave" for trying new things makes all the difference--and when one possesses that, a dog can have his day. Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

[This] book provides young kids a lens through which to approach their own anxieties.... Viewers with any kind of fear will find a kindred soul in Murray, and they'll also learn that being brave can bring its own rewards. — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

David Ezra Stein
Award-winning children's author and illustrator David Ezra Stein (he/him) was born in Brooklyn, New York. His works include Interrupting Chicken, Leaves, Monster Hug!, Tad and Dad, Pouch!, and Ol' Mama Squirrel. In addition to winning the Ezra Jack Keats award in 2008 and a Caldecott Honor in 2011, Stein's books have been named to several major book lists, such as Publishers Weekly's Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Reviews' Editor's Choice, and School Library Journal's Best Book. He lives in Kew Gardens, New York, with wife, Miriam, and their son, Sam.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication date
June 07, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV002210 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Rabbits
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV055000 - Juvenile Fiction | Nursery Rhymes
Library of Congress categories
Picture books

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!