Ruby Finds a Worry Literature Guide

Grade Level: 
PreK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Act of Generosity
by Tom Percival - A guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to discuss worries and gain empathy, generosity, and social awareness.

Ruby is a creative, adventurous girl who one day finds out that she has a worry. She hides the worry, so it grows and stops her from being her adventurous self. This book guides conversations about worries as something we can be aware of and control. Ruby discovers that everyone has worries and that talking with a friend can help them both to shrink their worries.

Literature Guide by Maureen Klein

Before Reading

Connect: Everyone has worries about work or school, health or family. Talk about some of your worries.

Show: Look at the picture of Ruby with her worry. Talk about how it feels to have a worry that big. Draw a picture of your worries.

Ask: What do you notice about Ruby’s worry?  (Look at the color choices the illustrator uses.) While listening to the story, think about the ways you are like Ruby and watch for how she handles her worries.

During Reading

Ask: Pause at the page that reads “Each day it got a little bit bigger.”  How does Ruby feel about her worry?  How can you tell?

Show: Describe what you notice is happening to the worry.  Where is it? What is its size and color? How does Ruby change? 

Connect: Ruby tried to ignore her worry. What happens when you pretend you are not worried? 

After Reading

Show: Go back to the page where Ruby and the boy are on the bench. Describe what you notice about the different worries.

Ask: What happened when Ruby met the boy? How did she help him? How did talking with him help her manage her worry?

Connect: Sharing our worries with someone who cares about us is one way to handle our worries.  What are other positive things we can do to handle feelings of worry or stress?


  1. Talk about what things help you feel better when you have a worry.
  2. Draw a picture of yourself with your worries next to you when you want to do your favorite activities.
  3. Some people have many worries because they have needs. Talk about the difference between needs and wants. Visit a nonprofit in the community that helps address a need that someone might worry about, such as where to get food, where to get supplies for school, what we are doing to the environment. Learn about their work and what you can do. Make a plan to take action.
  4. There are so many great children’s books with similar themes. Here are a couple: Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes and The Dot by Peter Reynolds.
  5. Make a calming kit for yourself or a friend as a way to handle your emotions when you are worried.