As a language therapist, I am drawn to books that have lots of strong vocabulary and text as well as those that have less text and beautiful illustrations that fill in the story, leaving an excellent opportunity for kids to describe what isn’t spelled out for them. “Parachute” is the latter. Toby is tied to his parachute like a security blanket, strapping it on before climbing down his top bunk bed, and having it at the ready for getting down from the breakfast stool, protecting him on the swing, see-saw and slide, and even from a scary animal. Then, when his fearful cat clung to the top of his treehouse, Toby forgot his own fear of heights and need for security while rescuing his pet and tying him to the parachute to float safely to the ground. Now it was Toby’s turn to take tiny steps of independence and keep calm without his parachute. Matt Ottley’s magical illustrations take Toby from the top of the treehouse down to the ground through fanciful drawings through the clouds. This book can inspire classroom writing prompts about fears, overcoming them, bravery, favorite security items and so on. Maybe even draw a picture of your fear and describe it. A rich book inspires lots of conversation!
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