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    January, 2019

     “Will little Pip-Pip overcome his fear of water and finally take the plunge?”

     Dear Forest Lake Family,

     The book that I have chosen as our January book of the month is “Be Brave, Little Penguin” by Giles Andreae.  The book is illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. 

     Be Brave Little Penguin is a story of a little penguin named Pip-Pip who was struggling to fit in, mainly because he feared something that so many of his peers loved.  Pip-Pip was afraid of WATER!  He feared the unknown.  What if the water is too cold?  What if it is too dark, or too deep?  What if I can’t swim?  What if there are monsters who try to eat me?  These fears paralyzed him and Pip-Pip began to feel sad and lonely because of it.  Things changed when Pip-Pip’s mom was finally able to convince him to face his fears and be BRAVE.  Pip-Pip eventually closed his eyes and took the plunge.  What he discovered was much different than what he had imagined and a whole new world was opened up for little Pip-Pip!

     I am certain that this story will resonate with many of our students.  There is always something that a child (or adult) is hesitant to try, and it is usually because of fear of the unknown.  As I walked around the building Wednesday wishing everyone a happy new year, I noticed that we were all busy making our new year’s resolutions.  What a perfect time of year to engage in meaningful conversation about trying new things, being brave, being confident, and facing your fears!  Many students shared some of the new things that they want to accomplish this year.  Learning to ride a bike, learning to read, being kind to others, and learning to swim were amongst some of the resolutions that I heard.  Hopefully this story will give some of our students the confidence and courage to face their fears and tackle their resolutions head on!  I look forward to finding out together!


    Happy Reading!


    Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.

    Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.


    Forest Lake Elementary School