I Can Do That

A Little Girl’s Day of Big Challenges

Children - Picture Book
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/05/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

It’s so easy to get comfortable letting others do things for us. That’s what happened to Scarlett. Now her Mummy has given her a big challenge: a list to follow to see what things she can do by herself. Scarlett is worried she won’t be able to do some of the things on the list. It’s so much easier to sit back and allow someone else to do it, then she doesn’t have to worry about failing. But Mummy has a better idea: “All that matters is that you try your best.” That’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Trying our best. We’re not always going to succeed, but we’ll feel good about ourselves if we at least try. Do you think Scarlett will be able to do everything on her list all by herself? What about you?

Kairen Alaina’s picture book story, I Can Do That: A Little Girl’s Day of Big Challenges, is a clever way to teach young readers the importance of trying, even if the task appears overwhelming. The plot follows Scarlett’s one-day challenge as she successfully accomplishes each task on the list and her growing confidence makes her glow with pride. Even the final challenge of going right to sleep without calling out. Can she do it? “Watch me and see,” she claims. “No one can go straight to sleep like me.” Now that’s a big day. The language is simple for young readers to follow and phrases like “Watch me and see” are repeated so the young reader will catch on quickly. The illustrations are charming and help move the story along. This is a beautiful story packed with powerful, positive messages for young readers.

Carolina Restrepo

I Can Do That: A Little Girl’s Day of Big Challenges is a perfect story for when children are at an age where they start to feel some sort of control and independence over themselves. This particular story focuses on a little girl who wakes up with the news that she and her mother will play a game all day long. Who doesn’t want to wake up to that? The game consists of doing things by herself and committing to them. This is a great way to help children learn how to do things on their own and give space to their parents. The activities range from making the bed, to changing her clothes, to eating her entire breakfast, to not letting go of mommy in the supermarket, and more. Activities like these help parents have an easier day with well-behaving children, and at the same time, they teach kids to finish their activities before moving on to another one.

Author Kairen Alaina brings to life a short yet remarkable story that helps both the parents and the children. First, it helps parents find a way to teach their children independence that doesn’t involve commands and fights. Plus, it helps parents go about their day with their kids close by but distracted and determined. On the other hand, it allows children to feel that they are capable of doing ‘grown up’ things and feeling better about themselves. I love I Can Do That; I will keep it in the back of my mind for when it is my time to be a mother. Even though it is small, it has so many lessons. I am in awe that the author is the illustrator as well. It is a pleasant surprise to see such talent.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

I Can Do That: A Little Girl’s Day of Big Challenges by Kairen Alaina is a 30-page fully illustrated children’s book that young readers will not be able to put down. It is relatable and will give them another way of looking at what they may be considering boring and unnecessary tasks. Everything is in perspective and this amazing story gives a fabulous idea to parents and grandparents. I wish I had read it to my son when he was a toddler. Too late for him but not so for my grandchildren! The drawings are beautiful and all perfectly complement the text.

I Can Do That: A Little Girl’s Day of Big Challenges, by Kairen Alaina is a story all parents, educators, and grandparents will love. But it is also, first and foremost, one that kids will devour and come back to again and again. It is fun, neat, easy to understand, and so engaging! It deals with a few recurring problems parents will recognize at first glance: the fear of not being able to do something (vs I can do it), the way children always tend to first refuse to do what adults want them to do because they want one more, or because they want to play longer… The list is endless and well-known! A gem of a book with gorgeous illustrations… What else could you wish for? I could not recommend it more highly. It is the first book by this author and I do hope it is the first in a long series. Thank you for sharing it!