Upside-Down Friday

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Hugo the monkey doesn't like Upside-Down Fridays. The day is the wrong way round; lunchtime is at morning teatime, and all his classmates' smiles look like frowns. How will Hugo learn to tame the butterflies in his tummy and find the fun to be had in change?

Upside-Down Friday tells the story of the day Hugo embraces the unexpected. Walking to school, anxious thoughts swirl in his head. When he arrives, the day and his routine are as upside-down as he had feared. However, Maddie the giraffe knows how to help, and reassures Hugo that things won't always be this scary. With this small gesture of friendship and understanding, Hugo begins to feel braver, reflecting how making new friendships, helping others, and accepting change can help reduce childhood anxiety and build resilience.

With its universal animal-kingdom setting, the story has likable characters who will resonate with all pre-schoolers and lower primary-aged school 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 the conversation about anxiety and teaching strategies to cope with it.

Young children's lives are full of big, scary changes like going to school and making new friends. Help them to build emotional resilience, and find the fun in days that don't go to plan!

About the Author

Lana Spasevski is a children's author who writes stories that tap into the curious world of children. Her debut picture book, Max's Dinosaur Feet, was inspired by the beautiful chaos of life with a young family. Her work has been longlisted in several competitions.

About the Illustrator

Nicky Johnston is a children's author, illustrator, educator and speaker. She visits schools and presents at workshops and conferences, sharing her journey, promoting emotional resilience and raising awareness of mental health issues.