PPBF: When Things Aren't Going Right, Go Left

Today I'm still feeling grateful for my recent trip home.

It truly was a picturesque Wisconsin winter wonderland weekend.

It gave me a new spring in my step.

Just like today's PPBF did.

Title: When Things Aren't Going Right, Go Left
Words: Marc Colagiovanni
Artwork: Peter H. Reynolds
Publisher: Orchard Books
Birth date: March 7, 2023
Themes: anxiety, resilience, growth mindset
Brief synopsis: Having a bad day? What can you let go of and leave behind?
Opening page: One day, for no particular reason, nothing was going right.

Resources: Enjoy a read-aloud on YouTube {here}.
Order the book at the Dot Central {here}.
Read a Kirkus review {here}.
Read a Common Sense Media review {here}.
Find an enrichment activity idea {here}.

Why I like this book: As you may already know, I love words and creative wordplay so SO much, so this treasure captured my heart immediately. Go left? Yep, but not just the other direction. Left as in left behind. In the story, our narrator is having the proverbial terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. (Wait, is his name Alexander?) But, instead of stress about what wasn't going right, he goes left by leaving behind his worries, doubts, frustrations, etc. Leaves them right there on the ground, despite their sneers and jeers. The personification that the author gives to the worries and doubts breathes an extra layer of life into the book.

"Where are you going?"
"Wait, come back. What will happen to us?"
"You're making a mistake; are you sure you're making the right decision?"

This gem, brilliantly illustrated by the talented Peter H. Reynolds, doesn't just tell kids to lay down their burdens and be done with it. Nope. Instead, he simply lets the narrator pick them back up and guess what? They don't feel as heavy anymore. Ahhhh, the power of taking a break. 
Of deep breathing. 
Of just BEing.

Use it as a springboard to help your students unpack and share the strategies that they use when life gets overwhelming and nothing seems to be going right. Encourage them to make a little booklet or draw their promising practices on index cards, then hole punch them and put them on an O ring. There are also oodles of follow-up activity ideas at TpT for this book {here}.

Add this one to your collection; it has my enthusiastic endorsement?

Next, check out Love Is My Favorite Thing at Susana Hill's blog. 💜

Oh, and if you need some strategies to help manage anxiety,
check out my Parenting University interview {here}.

1 comment

  1. I love this kind of wordplay, with a discreet message tucked inside. Thanks for the rec!


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