The Thing Lou Couldn't Do
The Thing Lou Couldn't Do
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Annotation: A fun-filled, shared game of pretending to be fearless pirates is challenged by Lou's friends' suggestion that they use a tall tree as their ship, an idea that is compromised by Lou's fears about climbing up so high.
Catalog Number: #172239
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-7713-8727-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3389-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-7713-8727-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3389-2
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Lou loves imaginative playtime with her friends om fortress building to fearlessly rescuing (stuffed) animals. But when they decide to play pirates, and her friends decide a treetop's the perfect ship, she hesitates because she hasn't climbed a tree before. So Lou finds excuses r arm's sore, there's a slug funeral to attend, an asteroid's coming fore finally admitting she doesn't know how to climb. Her understanding friends offer to teach her, but she still procrastinates and, hearing their fun above, also feels excluded. Eventually, the call to adventure wins out, and Captain Lou Skullbuckle heroically attempts to scale the tree but, despite repeated efforts, doesn't succeed. However, what she does accomplish is notable nding courage and determination to try something new and resolving to try again another day. Colorful line-detailed illustrations depict the multicultural cast of kids in familiar settings and scenarios, with cartoonish touches, speech balloons, and humorous details throughout, such as Lou's cat's background antics. Although tree climbing is the specific challenge here, Lou's dilemmas, feelings, and experiences should ring true for many kiddos taking on new challenges.
Kirkus Reviews
Try, try, and try again, even if you don't succeed. Lou, a girl with brown skin, and her diverse band of friends—a redheaded white boy, two brown girls, and a loyal cat companion—enjoy brave adventures. Together, they outrun airplanes, build mighty fortresses, and rescue wild animals. When her friends suggest they play pirates and use the tree as their pirate ship, they, without hesitation, climb up and aboard. All but Lou. Her friends encourage and reassure her. "It will be an adventure," which Lou loves, but her fear and lack of experience are real and get in the way. Attempting to avoid climbing that tree, she gives myriad reasons: her arm is sore, the cat needs a walk, she stepped on a slug and his funeral is in five minutes, she found out she is part fish and needs to be in water to survive, and so on. She finally admits to her friends that she cannot climb a tree. Lou inventively imagines alternate ways of joining her mateys in the branches: a trampoline, a pole vault, or a helicopter. Then a cry for help encourages Lou to put on her eye patch and climb aboard. Up, up, up. To readers' amusement, she makes it nowhere and falls a short distance to the ground. No matter: her friends find a different game all can play. To accompany her third-person narration and dialogue, Spires, known for the Binky graphic novels, uses clean, simple illustrations to envision various amusing scenarios. Unfortunately, Lou's excuses are more interesting than the story, which ends on a flat, moral note. While it offers a valuable lesson, it's not a terribly eventful or memorable book. (Picture book. 3-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1Lou and her friends love daring adventures, but when it comes to climbing trees, Lou sulks because she can't do it. Playing high in the branches of a tree, her companions are slow to notice Lou's plight. Midway through the story, they come down to offer help, but Lou isn't ready to climb the tree yet. After considering a few alternative ways to get into the tree, Lou gives climbing a tryand fails. Finally, recognizing her lack of skill, the friends take their game out of the tree and back to the ground. Lou holds no grudges and decides to try climbing another time. Digital illustrations include a set of culturally diverse, cartoonlike characters who are expressive yet somewhat unappealing, often set on a background of stark white space with some shading. The artwork is serviceable, but the book's main value is in the message it impartsthat it's better to attempt a challenge than to avoid it, although success is not always guaranteed. Lou goes through a range of emotional states in her struggle to overcome her inability to climb, but she doesn't let her obstacle defeat her. VERDICT This tale about meeting life's challenges and not giving up is a good purchase for medium or larger libraries.Gaye Hinchliff, King County Library System, WA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (4/1/18)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (5/1/17)
Word Count: 492
Reading Level: 2.2
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 195566 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD500L

Lou and her friends are BRAVE adventurers. They run FASTER than airplanes. They build MIGHTY fortresses. They rescue WILD animals. But one day, when they're looking for a ship to play pirates in, Lou's friend has an idea: Up there! The tree can be our ship! Ummm ... says Lou. This is something new. Lou has never climbed a tree before, and she's sure she can't do it. So she tries to convince her friends to play a not-up-a-tree game. When that doesn't work, she comes up with reasons for not joining them --- her arm is sore, her cat needs a walk, you shouldn't climb so soon after eating. Finally, she tells herself she doesn't want to climb the tree. But is that true, or is this brave adventurer just too afraid to try?This delightful picture book from Ashley Spires, bestselling author of The Most Magnificent Thing, perfectly depicts what children go through when confronted with something difficult. With humor and endearing artwork, Spires sensitively portrays Lou procrastinating, making excuses, imagining alternatives and denying she cares. Ultimately, Lou faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a growth mindset. All the while, Lou's friends model compassionate friendship by offering to teach her how to climb and then moving the game. This book makes a perfect choice for a character education discussion about courage or resilience, or a life-skills lesson on facing challenges. The story also promotes the joy of imaginative play in the outdoors.


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