Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires


The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires is a good book for encouraging discussions on  A), some things take lots of work to achieve and B), you may not be able to achieve some things even if you work really hard. That last part isn't pointed out in the book, but the story opens the door to that conversation.

As adults, often we say, "You can be anything you want to be," to kids. But in reality, we can't be anything. You can work to achieve something and get better, but dreams need to be realistic and many times luck has to be present. As an example, I could never have become a great basketball player, no matter how hard I tried, since nothing about me is coordinated and I'm 5'2". Okay, enough. You get the picture. I'm sure I've overthought this great little picture book! As you can tell,  it touched on one of my pet peeves.

When Lou and her friends play they pretend they are brave adventurers, faster than airplanes, build mighty fortresses, etc. She is sure she will be a race-car driver, pirate or deep-sea diver some day. But when her friends decide to climb a tree and play games up there, Lou is not sure. She has never climbed a tree. Her friends encourage her to at least try, but she begins to make excuses such as her arm is sore, her cat needs to be taken on a walk, and even that she stepped on a slug earlier that day and his funeral is in five minutes. When her friends offer to help her climb the tree she is cross and wants them to leave her alone.

As the friends continue to play, Lou fantasizes about ways she can get up in the tree without climbing. Finally, it's time for her to buck-up and make the attempt. No more excuses. But it isn't easy for her. Will she make it up the tree?

The illustrations are creative and funny at times. And as I mentioned earlier, the story offers a good opportunity to discuss future dreams.
    4 STARS
  • Kids Can Press 2017


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