Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
- Reading age: 6 to 8
Eight-year-old Izzy Parker’s biggest problem is feeling anxious and afraid. Her mom’s decision to move them across the country to Prince Edward Island didn’t help. Izzy worries she will say the wrong thing or laugh at the wrong time, and none of the kids will want to be her friend. Sometimes, it’s so hard to be Izzy that she can’t breathe.
In her honest, awkward, and anxious journal, Izzy writes down the story of her life and how she is trying to be a little less afraid. The good news: things might not be as bad as they seem. Even better? They will soon have a small, furry new family member—an emotional support dog named Gandalf!
About the author
Alma Fullerton is an award winning author- author/illustrator. She lives in NorthLake PEI with her husband, and dog. Born in Ontario Canada, she grew up in a large military family and has lived in in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Germany. Alma struggled with reading and memorized most things until the age of nine when, with the help of her grade four teacher, she realized she had dyslexia. By grade nine Alma loved reading. Besides writing and illustrating Alma now works in schools as an educational assistant who helps children with learning disabilities figure out the best way for them to learn.
Her books have been nominated and/or have won awards including the Governor General Finalist 2008, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award finalist 2009 & 2011 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award winner 2009, CLA Children's Book of the Year Honor Book 2009, 2011 Golden Oak Award winner 2009, Once Upon a World Children's Book Award Winner - 2009, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award shortlist - 2010, SilverBirch Award shortlist -2010, 2014, Silver Birch Express 2023, Blue Spruce Award 2014 & 2016, 2022, Kentucky BlueGrass Award 2015 and the 2016 Marilyn Baillie picture book award.
"Izzy endeavors to become as brave as a lion in this empathetic novel by Fullerton… Heavily inked, heartfelt illustrations by Mistry accompany Izzy’s astute, mature-sounding narration."
"In this feel-good story told in journal entries, readers meet Izzy, who is anxious all of the time—so anxious that she's receiving an emotional support dog, which she names Gandalf, because she figures it must take a wizard to help soothe her anxiety…. The author has an emotional support animal herself and is able to weave in rich details about the kind of work these companions do for their humans. Some entries end with a small cartoon illustration of a charming scene from the narrative, such as Izzy running away from her rooster, Meanie, after collecting eggs. This is a great read for kids who want to unlock their inner lions and be brave!"