New York Public Library's Children's Books: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices
ILA CBC Children's Choices List
A quiet boy with anxiety learns to shine in this award-winning picture book that celebrates introversion
Alfie wants to participate in the best parts of being a kid, from his friend Antoinette’s birthday party to the relay races at school. But his shyness keeps him from engaging. When Alfie wakes up with That Feeling on the morning of yet another big event—the underwater costume parade—his mom takes him to the aquarium.
There, Alfie meets a starfish who shines so boldly Alfie feels small. But suddenly, a tiny clownfish swims up to Alfie for a quick hello and retreats again. Alfie begins to understand that there’s a happy medium between hiding away and being the star, and that he needs to come out of hiding every once and awhile to make meaningful connections.
"Colpoys’s stylish, silkscreen-style illustrations use contrasting shades of sea green, deep blue, and bright pink to represent both the real world and Alfie’s rich interior life."Publishers Weekly
"Alfie's success, aided by loving and patient parents, provides a model for children struggling with anxiety and assures them of their ultimate worth and capability. This gentle story ably helps fill a need in children's literature and will help comfort small audiences with their own big fears."Kirkus Reviews
"The unconditional acceptance of Alfie’s parents makes this book unique and may prove assuring to children of similar character. An excellent choice for one-on-one sharing."School Library Journal
"Learning to be brave can take time, and readers will empathize with Alfie’s slow progress toward that goal."Booklist