Parachute by Danny Parker and Matt Ottley

cover image

Little Hare, 2013. ISBN 9781921894206.
Every morning Toby puts on his parachute. It's the one thing that helps him get through his day. It helps him get out of bed in the morning, navigating that long climb from the top bunk. It helps him get off the breakfast bar stool, and the bathroom stool after he's brushed his teeth. Wherever he goes, that parachute gives him strength and courage. Until he lends it to his cat Henry when Henry gets stuck up a tree and Toby finds himself way up high without it.
This is a sensitive, beautifully illustrated story of a little boy who takes the first steps from anxiety to independence. It offers reassurance for those who are straddling the chasm, wanting the security of the known on one side yet also seeking the adventure of the unknown on the other. It would have a great place in a discussion with parents or their children about making the leap to big school, perhaps encouraging them to think in advance of strategies that will help them face a situation if it arises, as well as helping the more confident think about how they deal with such things and the sorts of encouragement they can offer if a friend is struggling. Help them know how to fill their friend's bucket of confidence rather than dipping into it.
This would be a perfect purchase to offer Foundation teachers as a read-aloud. (Make sure you take the cover off and share it with them first - great thinking-starter!) Just magical.
Barbara Braxton