Once again, Mo Willems brings delightful characters to life in the simple tale Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World. Ironically, Sam is scared of everything except his furry monster pal, Frankenthaler. One day they encounter Kerry who is also afraid everything except her furry monster pal, Leonardo.When Frankenthaler and Leonardo sneak off together, Sam and Kerry shared fears become the first steps to a new friendship.

Reading this as the new school year starts, my little dude opened the door for discussions on things that can bring anxiety this time of year -- making new friends and trying new things. I appreciated how Sam & Kerry initially have dislikes in common but then discover they don’t feel the same about everything. Yet, their friendship continues to develop. We talked about how nice it was that their fear didn’t keep them from becoming friends. In fact, it started their friendship. We've also discussed times we’ve been scared to try something new or meet someone new and how much we benefitted from swallowing hard and doing it anyway. Lastly, we thought of times where we tried something new and we didn’t like it but we were ok and just moved on now knowing we didn’t like it.

Another bonus to reading this book as the school year begins is the opportunity to review the concepts of main characters and re-telling a story -- beginning, middle, and end. We also used the illustrations to review adjectives coming up with our own descriptions of the monster pals, which proved a lot a fun.

Overall, Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World was a great tale, perfect for children in the kindergarten to second grade age range. The book is now available from Disney-Hyperion.