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!
Lana Spasevski is a children’s author who writes stories that tap into the innately curious world of children. She has a degree in Laws and Commerce and was previously a Senior Paralegal, a Branding Manager and a Marketing Manager with large firms including Nestle and Kimberley-Clark. She now writes for children from her book-filled home where she lives with her husband, her two book butterflies and a rescue kitten called Marbles. Lana’s debut picture book Max’s Dinosaur Feet (2019), illustrated by Penelope Pratley and published by New Frontier Publishing, was inspired by the beautiful chaos of life with a young family. Her writing has achieved recognition in competitions such as Creative Kids Tales, Greenleaf Press and CYA, and was long-listed in the 2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia Charlotte Waring Barton Award as part of the Aspiring Writers Mentorship Award.
Nicky Johnston is an educator, speaker and author/illustrator of children’s books. She enjoys every aspect of creating books for kids, especially illustration. Nicky’s illustration style is often described as whimsical, emotive, soft and expressive. She is passionate about promoting emotional resilience in children and raising awareness of mental health issues. Nicky’s love of teaching sees her busy with school visits to share her journey of becoming an author and illustrator, and to show children the process of creating a book using excerpts of her work. She also presents at workshops and conferences. As well as teaching, Nicky works from home writing and illustrating in her art studio, and has contributed to 16 books including At the End of Holyrood Lane(EK Books, 2018), The Fix-It Man (EK Books 2017), Saying Goodbye to Barkley (EK Books, 2019), The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp (with Paul Russell, 2021, EK Books) and Upside-Down Friday (EK Books, 2021).