Call Me Penny Pickleberry

Call Me Penny Pickleberry

Meghan Grana


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And that’s when it started . . . the inside-out squeezing, pulsing, whirly feeling in Penelope’s belly. 

Meet Penelope Pickleberry, first grader extraordinaire. Penelope can do lots of things, like pack her own snack and tie her shoelaces in under thirty seconds. But Penelope has one huge problem—Nelly, the negative voice in her head that tells her about bad things that might happen. 

At the final game of the soccer season, Nelly’s I-just-can’t message is getting louder. Luckily, Penelope also has Penny, the positive, confidence-boosting voice inside her that tells her to be brave and persevere. Will Nelly win the battle? Or will Penny’s words of encouragement prove more powerful? 

This fun and relatable picture book helps kids manage childhood anxiety by learning to quiet their negative self-talk and listen to their own Penny, the inner voice that fills them with the courage to conquer everyday obstacles. 

Includes “A Guide for Shushing Your Nelly”—practical tips to help children overcome anxious thoughts.



Meghan Grana:

Meghan  Grana has been an advocate for students and families across the United States for nearly two decades. She holds a master's degree in speech language and hearing science and has served students with a broad range of communication issues, including learning disabilities, autism, cognitive impairments, language disabilities, and social-emotional disorders.

Recognizing that the greatest factor in overall student achievement is social-emotional wellness, Grana became certified as a Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW) in Maryland in 2018. As a PPW, she works in Student and Family Support and Engagement at one of the largest school districts in the country, serving thousands of families just north of Washington, D.C. She partners with families, students, and school-based staff in the areas of attendance and engagement, access to community resources, mental health, discipline and behavior, homelessness, and crisis support.