1st & 2nd Grade Books > Parachute


Text: Danny Parker | Illustrations: Matt Ottley

Distribution: October, 2018

Toby wears a parachute wherever he goes. It helps him to get down from high places such as the top of his bunk bed and the chair at the breakfast table. It makes him feel safe when he goes high on the swings and comes down on the slide. But one day, his cat gets stuck in the tree above the tree house. Toby easily climbs up and floats the cat down on the parachute. This leaves him with a problem. How will he get down from the tree house without the parachute? Toby faces his fear to solve this sticky problem. A book about facing one’s fears and gaining independence.

Family Activities

Like other children, Toby (Hadi in Arabic) is scared of several things: perhaps of heights, of falling off his bike or other fears.


Dear Parents,

Like other children, Toby (Hadi in Arabic) is scared of several things: perhaps of heights, of falling off his bike or other fears. Sometimes he seeks reassurance from his mother, but when he is alone he imagines holding a parachute to feel secure and face his fears. The book does not reveal the meaning of the parachute, but lets everyone interpret it in his/her own way.

Your child is starting first grade! This can be very exciting for you as parents and for him, still it can be full of fears and worries: “will I like my teachers and my classmates?” the child thinks. Will our child cope with the new school routine? Parents are concerned.
When the cat gets stuck in a tree, Toby tries to calm him down. When Toby finds himself at the top of a tree he starts to talk to himself, to help calm himself down. Talking with your child about his fears, and think together about ways he can qualm his fears; this might be the support he needs during this period of change.

We share with you thoughts regarding this book…

Family Activities

  • We can look at the illustrations in the beginning of the book. What in those illustrations shows Toby’s fear?
  • We can talk with our child about what scares him. How he can help qualm his fears? (Perhaps by going to someone or someplace that makes him feel secure and calm).
  • Many children feel anxious when they start first grade. The must get used to many new things. It is important to talk to children about anxiety over school, and discuss what can help him. He can draw his own parachute and write down what helps calm his fears.
  • We can try to recall an incident when our child helped a friend, and talk about the importance of friendship. He might want to express the incident by a drawing or even writing.
  • There are group games we can play with our children using a parachute. We can make a parachute using old clothes at home.
  • The illustrations depict different angles to express Toby’s feelings in each one. It would be nice to try to take pictures of things from different angles, such as taking picture of inside a car, taking picture from a high point, low point, and see what we can understand from the picture?
  • Toby imagined that the tree is high above the clouds, where he can see weird creatures. If we fly above the clouds, what we might see or imagine seeing?

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