Young children’s lives are full of big, scary changes. Help them to build emotional resilience, and find the fun in days that don’t go to plan!
Hugo hates Fridays…
“Hugo didn’t want to get ready for Friday. Friday had no fruit break. Friday had lunchtime at morning teatime. Friday had morning teatime at lunchtime.
‘Friday is all wrong and upside-down,’ cried Hugo. ‘I know it’s a big change. That’s why the teachers call it Upside-Down Friday,’ said Mama. ‘Remember, it’s only once a week to fit in sport,’ she added.”
Embrace the topsy-turvy
It can be hard for children to embrace the changes in their lives, but sometimes all it takes is a good friend and some kind words. Maggie the Giraffe offers Hugo support when he is feeling scared and shows him that Upside-Down doesn’t always mean wrong, sometimes a change in routine can even be fun.
This story will resonate with all preschoolers and lower primary-aged children who feel nervous about change. The emotive language and unique ‘upside-down’ illustrations make Upside-Down Friday relatable, immersive and accessible; an excellent resource for opening conversations about anxiety and teaching strategies to cope with it.
Teacher’s Notes are available here
Lana Spasevski is a children’s author who writes stories that tap into the innately curious world of children. She has a degree in Laws and Commerce and was previously a Senior Paralegal, a Branding Manager and a Marketing Manager with large firms including Nestle and Kimberley-Clark. She now writes for children from her book-filled home where she lives with her husband, her two book butterflies and a rescue kitten called Marbles.
Lana’s debut picture book Max’s Dinosaur Feet (2019), illustrated by Penelope Pratley and published by New Frontier Publishing, was inspired by the beautiful chaos of life with a young family. Her writing has achieved recognition in competitions such as Creative Kids Tales, Greenleaf Press and CYA, and was long-listed in the 2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia Charlotte Waring Barton Award as part of the Aspiring Writers Mentorship Award.
Nicky Johnston is an educator, speaker and author/illustrator of children’s books. She enjoys every aspect of creating books for kids, especially illustration. Nicky’s illustration style is often described as whimsical, emotive, soft and expressive. She is passionate about promoting emotional resilience in children and raising awareness of mental health issues.
Nicky’s love of teaching sees her busy with school visits to share her journey of becoming an author and illustrator, and to show children the process of creating a book using excerpts of her work. She also presents at workshops and conferences. As well as teaching, Nicky works from home writing and illustrating in her art studio, and has contributed to 16 books including At the End of Holyrood Lane (EK Books, 2018), The Fix-It Man (EK Books 2017), Grandma Forgets (EK Books, 2017, with Paul Russell), Saying Goodbye to Barkley (EK Books, 2019) and The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp (EK Books, 2021).
A good story and a great resource for anyone who has small, anxious people in their circles.
The Space magazine (ECC)
Dealing with change is difficult for all of us, but little Hugo is having an especially tough time- it’s upside-down Friday at school. All his classes and breaks are different because its sports day but luckily, he finds a friend who helps him feel calm and enjoy the day anyway. A sweet little story of friendship overcoming anxiety.
“A relatable story for young and old about the importance of emotional wellbeing … and a useful resource to help guide children through anxiety when things don’t go according to plan” Click here to read in full
“We all need a plan to deal with a bad day. Hugo hates upside-down Fridays but with friends, he finds a way to cope. Very appealing illustrations with a gentle palette.”
Polly, This Enchanted Pixie
“a wonderful book to use to talk to your kiddos about change, and how it makes them feel.” Click here for the full review.
The Bottom Shelf
“For those who can adapt easily to change, it is often difficult to understand the anxiety of those who can’t, so as well as supporting the routine-dependent by acknowledging their problem, this gentle story helps the others understand.” Click here for the full review.
Blue Wolf Reviews
“a beautiful story with cheeky watercolour illustrations … based around building emotional resilience by facing the ‘butterflies in your stomach’ Hugo learns that even though sometimes things are different and a little bit scary, once you try, somehow everything comes out right side up..” Click here for the full review.
Love Four Learning
“As a former teacher and parent, I really appreciated a common childhood anxiety being covered in this cute story about facing fears and building resilience.” Click here for the full review.
Can You Tell Me A Story
“there are so many parents who will be able to relate to this delightful book” Click here for the full review.
“a wonderful book for both parents and teachers to explore adapting to change” Click here for the full review.
Kids’ Book Review
“The stunning illustrations by the talented Nicki Johnston make the story float. Her perfect choice of delicate colours and the use of animals as characters, adorn the pages with expressive images, whether upside-down or right-side-up.” Click here for the full review.
OH Creative Day
“This is a clever book about how school timetables are all over the place on Fridays and how this can be hard for little ones who like routine.”
Barbara Gruener, Corner on Character
“This newcomer from EK Books is SO totally relatable; who among us hasn’t felt a touch of anxiety or angst when we’re knocked out of our rituals or routines?” Click here for the full review.
Swings and Roundabouts magazine (ECC)
“The characters are likeable with Hugo’s emotions being relatable to young listeners alongside the illustrations, which together will support children’s understanding of their emotions and some strategies in coping with change.”