The Big Slide

by Daniel Kirk (Author) Daniel Kirk (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
In this sweet story about facing fears, Little Pup has to call up all his courage--and the help of a friend--to go down the playground slide. Little Pup isn't as little as he used to be, and he'd love to try out the playground's big slide. Day after day he eyes it, but he just can't seem to work up the courage. Fortunately he meets someone in the same boat--Little Duck--and the two provide each other with just the bravery boost needed to climb that ladder and enjoy the slide! Kids will relate to Little Pup's struggle to gain enough confidence to move out of his comfort zone and try something new.

Find books about:

Kirkus Reviews

[Little Pup's] joy and pride [are] infectious. Kirk's many animal characters are highly expressive in both facial expression and body language, especially Little Pup's eyebrows, and Little Duck is a model of empathy for young readers. . . . Little readers will find a ready role model here for tackling their own fears.


The illustrations give Little Pup's crisis oomph by contrasting the muted colors of the background with the deeply saturated red slide. A charming story that shows how tiny steps of repeated exposure, visualization, modeling, and practice can help kids overcome their fears. 

Review quotes

The shifting viewpoints and angled composition, along with straightforward text, convey the realistic disorientation of grappling with a fear that others have seemed to easily overcome. Kirk's simple color palette, composition, and seasonal-styled backgrounds illustrate the time it takes little Little Pup to reach his goal, focusing on his kid-relatable emotional journey and the gentle encouragement from friends and family. . . . This empowering picture book teaches little ones that it's okay to seek support and to take on challenges at their own pace. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Daniel Kirk
Daniel Kirk has written and illustrated numerous popular picture books, including Ten Things I Love About You, Ten Thank-You Letters, Keisha Ann Can, and the Library Mouse series. He lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication date
July 20, 2022

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!