Look What I Can Do!

( 1 )

Overview

Things get easier every day. Just watch what I can do today! This affirming story celebrates how baby animals in the forest accomplish goals, whether it’s a baby bear finding food, a young spider spinning a web, or a small bird flying from the nest for the first time. The tender, rhyming text compares these achievements to those of a child who is learning to ride his bike or catch a ball.
The perfect story to encourage young readers to try new things or keep the faith when faced...
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Overview

Things get easier every day. Just watch what I can do today! This affirming story celebrates how baby animals in the forest accomplish goals, whether it’s a baby bear finding food, a young spider spinning a web, or a small bird flying from the nest for the first time. The tender, rhyming text compares these achievements to those of a child who is learning to ride his bike or catch a ball.
The perfect story to encourage young readers to try new things or keep the faith when faced with challenges, Look What I Can Do! honors the important milestones that children achieve each day.

Praise for Look What I Can Do!
"Baby animals strive to “stand up strong,” leap high and “spin a trap.” But learning is full of challenges, distractions and fun. In this message-driven tale, children see how various creatures struggle to develop and gain confidence."
Kirkus Reviews

"This gently affirming tale is perfect for parent-and-child sharing and offers many opportunities for discussion."
School Library Journal
 

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
It isn't just young humans who struggle to master the skills needed to mature as successful members of their species. All baby creatures need to learn and grow, as Viau and Vojtech show in this appealing collaboration. A wobbly fawn tells young readers, "It's not easy to stand up strong. I shake and sway, but move along." A fledgling chick reports, "It's not easy to leave the nest. I flap my wings. I do my best." Sometimes distraction and discouragement get in the way: a baby spider daunted in web-spinning needs a snack and a nap; a slow baby turtle's tired feet welcome a bath. But sooner or later, we all grow up to do what those of our kind are destined to do, whether it's hiding nuts for a squirrel or skipping, batting a ball, and riding a scooter for young homo sapiens. The concept of the book—celebrating the small steps we all take on the way to growing up—is strong enough that Viau's rhyming text does not need its persistent didactic refrain: "Keep trying on your own. Be proud today. Have fun and play. In time you will be grown." The varied glimpses into animal maturation provided by the simple text and softly colored paintings amply serve to make the point that in time, we're all going to get where our genes tell us to go. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-K—High in an oak tree, an owl and her two owlets survey the creatures below in the sun-drenched meadow. A fawn struggles to stand, little snakes slither, and young squirrels hide their acorns in the ground. On each full-color spread, a rhymed couplet describes the action as the parent looks on. "It's not easy to leave the nest./I flap my wings. I try my best," says a small yellow bird. A bear cub learns how hard it is to catch fish as its mother watches. The little owls do a merry dance on a branch of their tree while below a girl skips rope and a boy plays with his ball. As this scene is repeated with its accompanying rhyme, all the youngsters are shown turning somersaults, playing tag, and splashing into pond and stream. The serious business of learning new things is lightened as they play. Large, eye-catching images of the animals and their young are realistically painted, and their faces are wonderfully expressive. While the final pages focus on the girl, the boy, and their family, the last rhyme applies to all the youngsters. "Things get easier every day./Just watch what I can do today." This gently affirming tale is perfect for parent-and-child sharing and offers many opportunities for discussion. Pair it with Pamela Duncan Edwards's While the World Is Sleeping (Scholastic, 2010) for an engaging storytime.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Baby animals strive to "stand up strong," leap high and "spin a trap." But learning is full of challenges, distractions and fun. In this message-driven tale, children see how various creatures struggle to develop and gain confidence. Viau chooses a single rhyming couplet to describe most spreads. A baby bird knows, "It's not easy to leave the nest. / I flap my wings. I try my best." Unfortunately each couplet strictly follows the same pattern, which grates by the end. A periodic chorus--"Friends of forest, / field, and stream, / Keep trying on your own. / Be proud today. / Have fun and play. / In time you will be grown"--comes across as a series of well-meaning but stale platitudes. The bright spot is Vojtech's impressive illustrations. She chooses to zoom in on the animal pairs featured in each spread, which creates an exciting immediacy for those poring over the details. On the pages with the refrain, children will especially enjoy looking for each animal duo previously introduced. In the end, this all serves to remind kids to take things slowly and keep trying new things, be they walking, hopping or skipping rope. This title was clearly produced with the best of intentions, but regrettably, it does not quite coalesce into a successful reading experience. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419705298
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 466,531
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Viau
Nancy Viau is the author of the middle-grade novel Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head. She lives in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. Anna Vojtech is the illustrator of The First Strawberries, by Joseph Bruchac, and many other books for children. She lives in Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2013

    Beauty in simplicity. Bright rhyming couplets broken up by a lyr

    Beauty in simplicity. Bright rhyming couplets broken up by a lyrical refrain offer heartfelt encouragement for the youngest of book-lovers. Add charming, inviting illustrations, and this book is sure to become a family favorite.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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