Shy by Deborah Freedman



Author and Illustrator: Deborah Freedman
Published: September 27, 2016 by Viking

Summary: Shy loves birds. He’d love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he’s only ever read about them in books. . .until a real bird comes along. He’s dying to meet her, but there’s just one problem: Shy is, well, shy–so shy, in fact, that he’s afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page?

This sweetly relatable picture book from the acclaimed Deborah Freedman speaks to every child who’s ever felt like hiding instead of facing the daunting world.

Ricki’s Review: I have read this book dozens and dozens of times with my son. He absolutely loves the story. When my husband walked him upstairs to bed the night after we got the book, he didn’t even make it to the top of the stairs before he requested his reading choices for the night, “Race car books and Shy, please.” The book features a character who is Shy and who is unable to say hello to a yellow bird. I won’t give anything away, but this is a book that will teach many lessons to readers (and not just the shy ones!). It’s a daunting, scary world out there, and all kids will be fearful in situations. This book teaches lessons of courage and friendship. This stunningly beautiful book captured my attention from the start, and I immediately shared it with colleagues.

Kellee’s Review: Deborah Freedman can do no wrong. Her ability to illustrate differently depending on the story and her ability to tell such a wide variety of stories just moves her to an all-star level. In Shy, Freedman tells us a story of Shy who could represent any kid who fears doing something. His story helps kids who may feel like him go through his journey of facing his fears. I also love that books are such a large part of Shy’s life and really help him with the real world.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teachers might have students analyze the way shyness is portrayed in this book. They can examine the wording, mood, etc. Then, as a class or in small groups, they might pick a different emotion to portray. They could create and publish their own creations. Then, they might compare and contrast the way the emotion shapes the text as a whole.

Discussion Questions: When is a time that you felt shy? Did you gain the courage to be brave? What happened to the bird when Shy wasn’t brave?; It isn’t until later in the book that we know what kind of animal Shy is. Why do you think the author structured the story this way? What does it add to your reading?

Flagged Passage: “But Shy didn’t know how to talk to a bird. What if he stuttered? What if he blushed? What if–“

Read This If You Loved: Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman, Little Tree by Loren Long, Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, Say Hello by Jack Foreman, The Cloud by Hannah Cumming, Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, By Mouse & Frog by Deborah Freedman

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