The Thing Lou Couldn't Do

Ashley Spires
Ashley Spires

“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.

978-1-77138-727-9 | May 2, 2017
List Price: USD $17.99, CAD $18.99
4-color 9 x 11 32 pages
Grades: PreSchool To 2 / Ages: 3 to 7
978-1-77138-901-3 | May 2, 2017
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Educational Resources

Awards & Reviews

“... Lou's dilemmas, feelings, and experiences should ring true for many kiddos taking on new challenges.”
— Booklist Online, January 2017
“Spires's bright, expressive illustrations and playful text put the reader right into Lou's cute little black running shoes ...”
— Quill & Quire, February 2017
“... offers a valuable lesson ...”
— Kirkus Reviews, February 2017
“... humorous and light-hearted ...”
— School Library Connection, July 2017
“This book has so much to offer.”
— Canadian Children's Book News, July 2017
2018 - Rainforest of Reading Award, OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation, Short-listed
2018 - Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College, Winner
2017 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2017 - OLA Best Bets, Ontario Library Association, Winner

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