PPBF: Brave Every Day

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 Happy July! Today I’m thinking about bravery.

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.

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.

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

for the other PPBF picks before we break until the next school year.


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