PPBF: Brave Every Day

 Happy July! Today I'm thinking about bravery.

I love this definition from my friend Dr. Jody Carrington.
How do you explain what it means to be brave?
What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

When I was a little girl, playing hide and seek felt pretty brave to me because what if I picked such a good place that no one were to find me? Worse, what if they didn't try? Imagine the weight of that worry.

Then imagine my surprise when I opened up Trudy Ludwig's latest title.

Ready or not, here comes today's PPBF.

Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Patrice Barton
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Birth Date: June 28, 2022
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Themes: anxiety, fear, bravery
Brief synopsis: Camila worries. About everything. What ifs here, I can'ts there, I'm scareds everywhere. So it should come as no surprise that Camila is almost paralyzed with fear when the teacher announces a Field Trip to the Aquarium. On the big day, when she sees a classmate hiding from his own anxieties, will she find that her brave is bigger than her fears?
Opening pages: 
Most kids love hide-and-seek. Not Camila. She just likes to hide.

Resources: Tune in to this podcast episode with Trudy.
Enjoy a Dear Reader letter from the author.
Find engaging ideas from Maria at The Picture Book Buzz.
Enrich the story with the Educators' Activity Guide.
Add some anti-anxiety strategies to your arsenal.
Grab some ideas for putting Courage Over Comfort.

Why I like this book: First and foremost, the dynamic duo of The Invisible Boy and Quiet Please, Owen McPhee! is the best in the business, so I'm joyful to have another gem from them in my library. From the 'personification' of Camila's anxieties floating around the water on front endpaper to her new mantra {I'll try.} that shows her great growth in the back, this must-have treasure for your social and emotional learning (SEL) shelves has my whole heart. The opening page finds an anxious Camila hiding, something she "does best when she worries."  She worries with her what ifs?, she's insecure from her I can'ts, and her I'm scareds keep her up at night. Such a masterful job Barton does bringing these worries to life.

How will Camila EVER manage on a Field Trip? Oh, it's going to happen, but I'm not going to spoil it for you by telling you how. Instead, let's just say that Camila learns what our friend Dr. Michele Borba's research has found, that as empathy increases, anxiety decreases. 

In the back of the book, Trudy gifts us with discussion questions
as well as a list of recommended reading for kids.

Compare and contrast this title with The Whatifs by Emily Kilgore.

Find out what worries your learners are holding on to.
What scares them? What do they worry about?
When was the last time they felt brave?

I especially love the page in the book where we discover that 
Camila is very brave, "she just doesn't know it yet."
I can totally see that positively influencing young readers. 

In my work with children who are anxious, I've found the "what if-what then?" strategy, which invites them to share what scares them and unpack their worst-case scenarios, to be very effective when they're ready.   

Need some more ideas? Here's a throwback from a decade ago that
will stand the test of time from a contest I entered at Marissa's blog

Check out this summertime sizzler, then head to Susanna Hill's blog
for the other PPBF picks before we break until the next school year.

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