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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.