Sophie Learns to Be Brave Hardcover by Joan Halifax (Author), Kiersten Eagan (Illustrator)

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A story for kids ages 4–8 about a young girl and her encounters with a dog that teaches her friendship, presence, loss, and bravery.

This story follows a young girl named Sophie and a sweet old dog who cross paths in the midst of a storm. “Breathing in, I am safe; breathing out, I am free,” Sophie repeats again and again to remind herself and the "old one" to stay present and brave when feeling scared or unsettled. In helping each other through their fears, a deep kinship is formed that makes a lasting impact on Sophie’s life.  

“A meditation on being safe and free, wrapped into a story about wishing well for others. In these times we could not ask for a greater gift for ourselves and our children than encouragement.”—Spirituality & Practice  

“With its positive and underlying message friendship, loss and bravery, 
Sophie Learns to Be Brave is a fun, thoughtful, thoroughly 'kid friendly', and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”—Midwest Book Review 

“Wonderful book! I enjoyed the simple yet practical messages for children. Sophie learned about positive self-talk, and letting things come (and go). Really beautiful story and messaging. Highly recommend.”—Maureen Healy, author of 
The Happiness Workbook for Kids
ROSHI JOAN HALIFAX, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.

From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.

A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on engaged Buddhism. Her books include: 
The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful DarknessA Journey Through Buddhist PracticeSimplicity in the ComplexA Buddhist Life in AmericaBeing with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and her forthcoming, Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet.

KIERSTEN EAGAN is a children’s illustrator and visual development artist with a passion for storytelling. She finds inspiration anywhere a story can be found—in nature, reading, history, adventures, traveling—and specializes in gouache, pencils, and digital work. A graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Kiersten works in animation where she has designed for a variety of television and film projects such as 
My Little PonyCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and The Addams Family.


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bala Kids (March 29 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1611808952
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1611808957
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 386 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.79 x 0.94 x 27.31 cm