BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bea Reviews The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires

Publisher: Kids Can Press
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository*  | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts:

Well, the blurb tells the whole story. If the blurb had picture too, you'd be all set and wouldn't need to read the book.

Lou is brave, imaginative, and adventurous, and so are her friends. Then one day, her friends climb a tree and Lou can't. She comes up with numerous reason not to even try but eventually, the lure of her friends is too strong and she tries. She doesn't succeed but her friends have her back. They don't make fun of her fear, they try to help her climb the tree, and when she can't, they move the game. The story is not subtle, it's definitely a message story, but I think it's one that many children will enjoy nonetheless. They'll be able to relate to Lou, her fears and her worries and her joyful spirit. I liked that the book didn't end with Lou conquering her problem easily. Just as in real life, Lou will need to keep trying and working at it but we're left with the hope that she will do that. Too often, solutions in young children's books are pat and easy so props to Spires for not going the lazy route.

The artwork is expressive and joyful with little details that add to the story. I enjoyed the art more than I did the story honestly. I prefer more subtle stories for children but this is a decent one that's worth a look.

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