Tag Archives: friendship

#blogbookaday: The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do

6 May

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do.jpgSummary:  “Lou and her friends are BRAVE adventurers. They run FASTER than airplanes. They build MIGHTY fortresses. They rescue WILD animals. But one day, when they re looking for a ship to play pirates in, Lou s friend has an idea: Up there! The tree can be our ship! Ummm … says Lou. This is something new. Lou has never climbed a tree before, and she s sure she can t do it. So she tries to convince her friends to play a not-up-a-tree game. When that doesn’t work, she comes up with reasons for not joining them her arm is sore, her cat needs a walk, you shouldn’t climb so soon after eating. Finally, she tells herself she doesn’t want to climb the tree. But is that true, or is this brave adventurer just too afraid to try?

This delightful picture book from Ashley Spires, bestselling author of The Most Magnificent Thing, perfectly depicts what children go through when confronted with something difficult. With humor and endearing artwork, Spires sensitively portrays Lou procrastinating, making excuses, imagining alternatives and denying she cares. Ultimately, Lou faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a growth mindset. All the while, Lou s friends model compassionate friendship by offering to teach her how to climb and then moving the game. This book makes a perfect choice for a character education discussion about courage or resilience, or a life-skills lesson on facing challenges. The story also promotes the joy of imaginative play in the outdoors.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Lou is a great adventurer, but when her friends want her to try something new – climbing up a tree, Lou tries everything in the book not to. But, with the encouragement of her friends, she tries her best and… doesn’t make it up the tree. But, the hardest part is behind Lou and she’s sure she’ll make it up that tree one day, maybe even tomorrow. A powerful story in a time when many kids aren’t willing to try something because they might fail, Lou shows the reader that you aren’t always going to be the best, but trying is worth it.

Personal Reaction: I loved the message of this story – to have courage to try something new, to keep trying even if things don’t work out the first time, and to have great friends who encourage you and are willing to make changes to include you. I loved the diversity in this story and the kids’ imaginations. I also loved that Lou tried every excuse to not climb the tree, but in the end tried her very best anyway. This is a valuable book for kids to learn about tenacity and resilience – skills that will take them far in life.

Title: The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do
Author: Ashley Spires
Illustrator: Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: May 2, 2017


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

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#blogbookaday: Shorty & Clem

29 Apr

Shorty and Clem.jpgSummary:  “The creator of the award-winning app Scruffy Kitty, Michael Slack, brings young readers a fresh, dynamic duo: an energetic dinosaur and a cranky but loving bird who both pack lots of silly noises and fuzzy surprises in this vibrantly illustrated friendship story.

Meet Shorty & Clem! Shorty is a really short dinosaur. A shortysaurus, to be exact. Clem is a blue quail. A quail is some kind of bird.

While Clem is out, a package arrives at the door with his name on it. Shorty gets super excited and finds the box irresistible. What’s inside? A race car…trampoline…bongos…monkeys? He REALLY wants to open it but, he knows that it’s Clem’s. Should he open the box? Of course not! Instead, he jumps on it like a trampoline—THUMP!—and bangs on it like a drum—BOOM BADA BOOM!—until he finally opens it. That’s when Clem comes home. Shorty is sure he’s done something terrible, but Clem proves to him that best friends are the best surprises of all!” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A package arrives for Clem, but with Clem not at home Shorty has a hard time NOT opening the package – trying very hard to play with the box and not open it, until… he finally can’t take it anymore and opens it up! He quickly realizes his mistake and tells the truth when Clem comes home. This is a sweet story of friendship and surprises with an adorable dinosaur and a very understanding quail.

Personal Reaction: This book reminded me very much of Elephant & Piggie with speech bubbles, short text and two best friends. I loved how hard Shorty worked to try and not open the package and the ending was cute (no spoilers here!). But, my only concern is that they don’t address how wrong Shorty is to have opened something that didn’t belong to him. Then again, I don’t think every picture book needs to have a lesson attached to it, especially if parents and teachers use the book as a teaching tool to talk to kids about the issue presented in the book. This story in the end is about friendship and that’s pretty special.

Title: Shorty & Clem
Author: Michael Slack
Illustrator: Michael Slack
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 25, 2017


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

#blogbookaday: Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms

24 Apr

Sakura's Cherry Blossoms.jpgSummary:  “When Sakura’s father gets a new job, she and her parents leave their home in Japan. In America, Sakura misses the blossoming cherry tree where she and her grandmother would play and picnic. How will she feel at home in this new and unfamiliar place? What if she forgets the beloved grandmother she left behind? Making friends with her neighbour helps Sakura feel more settled and when springtime finally arrives, a gorgeous and fateful surprise awaits her.

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms captures the beauty of the healing power of friendship through Weston’s Japanese poetry-inspired text and Saburi’s breathtaking illustrations. ” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This is a beautiful story of the power of friendship as Sakura learns that saying good-bye is not easy. Sakura’s family leaves Japan for America for her father’s job leaving her beloved grandmother behind. Learning a new language, going to a new school and meeting new friends is difficult for Sakura. A surprise in the spring helps Sakura to understand that it’s never easy to say goodbye, but it’s also important to say hello.

Personal Reaction: This little book packs a huge punch talking about the immigrant experience, making new friends, the death of a family member and sharing in the beauty that surrounds you are all done equally well – told in tanka poetry (similar to haiku but with a few more lines). The illustrations show the relationship between Sakura and her grandmother and how much the cherry blossoms mean to the little girl. This was a beautifully done story – perfect for a young elementary age audience who will grasp the concepts well.

Title: Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms
Author: Robert Paul Weston
Illustrator: Mis Saburi
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: February 20, 2018


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

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