When Sophie Thinks She Can’t…by Molly Bang; illustrated by Molly Bang. 2018. Published by The Blue Sky Press.
Brief summary: Sophie is home trying to put puzzle pieces together to make a square, her sister walks by and quickly arranges them. The sister exists the rooms saying, “Too bad you’re not smart.” Sophie goes to school the next day where they learn what smart means and how they must exercise their brains to become stronger just like their muscles. Their teacher gives them a math problem to solve together in small groups. Sophie becomes frustrated and can’t figure it out. The teacher then teaches them another word–yet. She encourages her students to keep working on the problem. The students eventually get the correct answers. The teacher then adds “er” to smart.
Comments: Super example of fixed mindset and growth mindset. Teachers could use this book to demonstrate those mindsets but also the word “yet”. We have not found the answer YET.
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires; illustrated by Ashley Spires. 2017. Published by Kids Can Press.
Brief summary: Lou and her friends love to use their imaginations together during play time and go on all sorts of adventures. But when Lou’s friends decide to climb a tree to play, she comes up with many excuses of why she cannot join them instead of admitting she is afraid or has never climbed a tree. Lou convinces herself that she really doesn’t want to climb the tree. Her friends kindly offer to show her how to climb a tree. She tries but is not successful on her attempt. Her compassionate and empathetic friends take the game to another place outside. Lou keeps working on climbing the tree leaving the reader wondering if she will be successful.
Comments: A good read aloud to encourage trying something, failing, but trying again. Growth mindset example of how we can always learn new things even if they are scary at times. Students would also see an example of compassionate friends who do not make fun of Lou but instead, encourage and help her. Ashley Spires’ The Most Magnificent Thing is also a great story of teaching perseverance and imagination. She is also the author of the graphic novel series titled Binky. I look forward to seeing more picture books by this author/illustrator.
(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program. Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).