Meeting strangers makes shy possum Alfred anxious, and he plays dead. So he has trouble making friends—until Sophia the armadillo reveals that when she gets anxious, she rolls up in a ball. A witty friendship tale inspired by animal behavior.
In this winsome tale, Alfred, who plays dead, and Sophia, who rolls up in a ball, stand in for shy or anxious humans whose discomfort keeps them from fitting in. Jennifer Black Reinhardt has cast animals with defense mechanisms as characters to tell an imaginative, endearing story about learning to make friends by mastering fear and shyness. Alfred and Sofia open up to each other and go on to help other creatures who have social difficulties by practicing patience, forgiveness, and friendship—tools for overcoming the barriers that keep us from connecting with others. An author’s note lists real animals and their defensive behaviors.
When her elementary school classmates said they wanted to be firemen, doctors, and vets, Jennifer Black Reinhardt declared she wanted to draw the picture on greeting cards. Today her diverse body of work includes not only greeting cards but chapter books and picture books, including Yaks Yak by Linda Sue Park and Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate. Jennifer lives with her family in Iowa City, Iowa. Visit her online at jbreinhardt.com, on Twitter @jblackreinhardt, and on Instagram @JenniferBlackReinhardt.