The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do – written and illustrated by Ashley Spires


51jeko4jhcl    The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do – written and illustrated by Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press, 9781771387279, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? Everything!  Lou is a spunky young girl with adventurous friends; they do everything from capturing wild teddy bears to building defensible pillow forts. When a quest of piratical proportions leads them to climbing a tree… Lou finds herself a little unsure.  Lou tries to first imagine ways out of the task (leading to a spread of imaginative illustrations), but finds the courage to try while her friends are caring to the end.

Spires doesn’t offer an easy solution or a stunning finale of tree-climbing prowess; Lou experiences her fear and uncertainty in a way through which many young children will relate.  An open-ended conclusions to leave room for the possibility of growth.  This simple idea is what so many children’s books lack; failure is okay, but trying is important.

Topping off the fantastic story and adorable dialog are illustrations that show each character’s expression and emotions with great clarity, making this even better for repeat reads.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for adventurous or imaginative children; fans of “My Name is Not Isabella” by Fosberry or “What Do You Do With an Idea?” by Yamada will love this group of friends.

Librarians may want to recommend this to caregivers seeking stories about self-confidence; this is a good companion for “The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” by Pett or “The Dot” by Reynolds for those seeking to boost self-esteem in their child.

Who should buy this book? Childrens’ library collections (public and school)

Where would you shelve it ? Picture book collection

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!  Give it a read and maybe share it with some K-2 classrooms.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of reviewFebruary 27, 2017

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