Posts tagged ‘working hard’

TAKING FLIGHT

Wings to Fly

Written by Jarnell Stokes and Howard Flamm

Illustrated by Eunsoo Jeong

This book will go a long way to uplift the spirits of children who feel left out and unappreciated. Louisa is sad because she always seems to be the last one picked for the basketball team. She tells herself she is just as good as the other players. Her guardian angel, Jarnac, suddenly appears. He assures her that it does not matter whether you are chosen first or last. The most important thing is to have fun and treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Jarnac tells her stories of famous basketball players and assures her that having self-confidence and working hard is the key to success. When game time comes around, will Louisa be able to put his advice into practice?

This book is multicultural and richly illustrated. Readers will learn about teamwork, cooperation, and good sportsmanship. I would recommend it for elementary and middle-grade readers who enjoy sports, especially those who need motivation or a boost in their self-confidence.

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DANCING TO HER OWN TUNE

Willa the Ballerina

Written by Leela Hope

Willa the Wolf loves dancing ballet, but she feels that her fellow swan ballerinas are so much more talented than she. Cynthia, the lead swan, tells Willa that she looks like a fool and should leave the school. Willa goes off into the woods to have a good cry. She meets up with Tommy the Toad who encourages her to practice and not to worry. Once Willa stops worrying, she becomes a proficient dancer. Willa returns to the dance school before the recital. There will be a surprise in store for Willa and her readers.

This is a cute picture book that teaches preschoolers not to worry what others think, to work hard, and develop self-confidence. While it probably did not need to be written in rhyme, that makes it a good read aloud. Simple but effective illustrations convey the message. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud, especially for preschoolers but can be used with children a bit older.

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