PPBF: It Will Be OK

Today's PPBF has a title that I've needed to hear lately,
especially as I grieve the loss of our little brother.

I really love this picture of him, perfectly paired with this quote from the beautiful Betty White. And I'm finding that empathy is KEY as I journey through the grief path. In today's story, Giraffe feels that as well as he deals with what seems like an irrational fear.

Title: It Will Be OK
Author: Lisa Katzenberger
Illustrator: Jaclyn Sinquett
Publisher: Sourcebooks Explore
Birth Date: February 2, 2021
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Themes: fear, empathy, kindness
Brief Synopsis: Scared by a spider, Giraffe climbs up a tree to escape. Will Zebra talk him out of being afraid or simply hold space and wait for him until the fear subsides?
Opening page: Every afternoon, Giraffe and Zebra walked to the watering hole together. But today, Giraffe couldn't go. He would have to tell Zebra. 


Check out an author book talk {here}.
Enjoy a read-aloud with Annie and Rocco {here}.
Read the Kirkus review {here}.
Sign up for an educators' guide {here}.

Why I like this book: 
1. The eye-catching illustrations are endearing and adorable. 
2. The book tackles a serious topic with a hint of silliness. 
3. The two-page spread in the back, on which the author discusses anxiety and empathy as well as feeling worried and helping a worried friend, makes this an awesome resource to help students sharpen their SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) skills. 

Use this gem as a springboard to talk not only about what the learners in your class family are afraid of, but also how they can be an empathy hero to someone who feels afraid. What does Zebra do once he tries to talk Giraffe out of his unfounded fears? He sits and waits. And then waits some more. And then when the tables are turned and they find a spider who's scared, guess what they're likely to do? Not to fix things for them, just to feel it with them.

Your younger learners may need for the word empathy to be more tangible; watch this little one struggle with The Empathy Switch.

Find out when the last time they were shown empathy was. Then inquire as to when they were able to show empathy. How did it look, sound, and feel? Was it easy or hard? Was it comfortable or uncomfortable? Because sometimes empathy and kindness require giving up something, even if it's just our time or our level of comfort. Talk about what it takes and how it feels to go deeper with our kindness, to the level of making a sacrifice, if that's what it takes. Then talk about the benefits of empathy and kindness. Who wins when you switch places with someone and show empathy and kindness to them?

With your older learners, consider doing an empathy activity like this one:

Finally, work together as a team to brainstorm mantras
that feel like comforting, kind empathy statements, like
the words that Zebra says to Giraffe:
"I'm always here for you."

As always, help students and staff alike understand that 
ALL feelings matter, that they are ALL important.

 Check out this brilliant PPBF, then head to Susanna Hill's blog
for today's other incredibly perfect picks.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some more walking to do.



  1. What a lovely share today. So relevant as there are a lot of things that frighten kids. So important to teach kids empathy and being that someone who patiently listens and waits. What a gift. Loved the video. For some reason, google is making it hard for me to comment. Photo gone.

  2. Hugs as you journey through this period. This is a great book and relevant to so many for so many reasons. I liked your expanded activities.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!