Written by Bea Birdsong & Illustrated by Nidhi Chanani
“Today I will be fierce! I will break away from the ordinary. I will stand up for my beliefs. I will build new bridges.”
The words in this picture book are as attention grabbing as the images. The reader is invited to join a young girl as she takes on her day determined to overcome fears, summon Doing something even when you know it will be hard. More, focus on the positive, help others, and become more confident in herself.
Talk About It
- What does it mean to be “fierce?” Talk about the ways in which this book uses fierce to mean confident, bold, courageous, kind, etc instead of the idea of being strong in a violent way.
- Do you have certain clothes or belongings that help make you feel fierce? What is it about them that helps you? (Adults: You may need to get the conversation started by providing some examples from your life.)
- What does it mean to “chart my own course?” What are some examples of things you’ve done in your own way? How did it make you feel? (It’s important to validate that children may have experienced a mix of emotions include nervousness, fear, excitement, etc. Talk about the fact that part of Doing something even when you know it will be hard. More is doing something even when we have nervous or scary feelings. Also highlight that confidence doesn’t mean we never feel afraid, sad, lonely, etc.)
- How does the girl in the story “stand up” for her beliefs in the lunch room? What do you think or feel when you look at the pictures? Talk about that in reaching out to the girl who was alone, the main character became an A person willing to speak up or simply stand next to someone else (or a group of people) when they are being treated unfairly. An ally is also committed to learning and understanding more in order to help create changes. More. How do you think her choice changed things for the girl who was sitting alone?
- The book says, “search for light in the darkness.” Do you know what that means? (If not, take a few minutes to explain.) What is an example of a time when you were able to do this? How did it make you feel?
- What does the girl accomplish during show and tell? Why do you think it’s important to overcome fears & believe in the importance of what you have to say?
- What do you notice in the book about how the girl starts her day as she leaves the house & ends the day back at home? How do you think the love & support of someone helps her to be fierce? Who do you have in your life (family or otherwise) that helps you? In what ways can you help other people to be fierce?
- Think about something you have felt nervous or afraid to do that you would like to be fierce & give a try. Talk about what makes you nervous. Think with an adult about ideas for giving you support & making it easier for you to try. Close your eyes and imagine yourself successfully completing what you’ve chosen. How does it make you feel?
- In the lunchroom, the girl uses her fierceness to stand up for her beliefs & be an A person willing to speak up or simply stand next to someone else (or a group of people) when they are being treated unfairly. An ally is also committed to learning and understanding more in order to help create changes. More to another kid. Make a list of things you believe in related to how kids should be treated at school. Come up with action items for when you see one of these ideas being broken. Spend some time role playing what you might say or do so that you will have the confidence to take action when needed.
- Grab some paper or an empty notebook & start a grateful journal to help you “find light in the darkness.” Before you go to bed each night write down 3 things that happened in your day that you are thankful for…these can be anything, but try to avoid focusing on material things like presents instead think about things you did that made you feel proud, happy, etc or things people may have said to you or done with you.
- Think of a time when you were the “hero of my own story.” Draw a picture of that moment. Create a caption that expresses how thinking about this moment makes you feel.