Sometimes Shy, a fiction picture book for readers 4-8
From the start of the day to the end, a boy notices and draws
everything round him that appears shy—the ocean at low tide
the sun peeking through a window, and seedlings slow to sprout.
But no one labels these things too shy. And, given the right setting,
the boy isn’t shy about sharing at all.
This lyrical story explores and celebrates situational shyness.
Praise for Sometimes Shy
“A thoughtful, reserved child makes trenchant observations.
At daybreak, the small narrator notices that the sun is slow to peek through bedroom curtains, that some pieces of cereal hide beneath the milky surface of the bowl, that waves can be quiet, that seedlings can be “slow to sprout,” and that a marker can be “hesitant to release its color.” Sun, sea, cereal, seedlings, and marker are not called “shy,” but the narrator is—and “too shy” at that. After school, the protagonist’s older brother is waiting to meet up, and as they walk home along the shore, the tide has turned and the quiet sea is now booming. The siblings play in the water, and the narrator now talks up a storm, telling their brother about their school day and explaining how caterpillars metamorphose, prompting the brother’s lighthearted rejoinder—“Do you ever stop talking?”—and making them both laugh at this disconnect. Over the course of the story, the narrator acknowledges that other children might be bolder but perceptively realizes that labels like shy are limiting. After all, as the day has shown, time brings changes, and transformations happen. The colorful, sun-washed illustrations set diverse cartoon figures against the bright background of a seaside village and the narrator’s cozy house. The narrator and their family are tan-skinned.
An encouraging, subtle reminder not to be so quick to make snap judgments.”
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