________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2006


Like a Pro:101 Simple Ways to do Really Important Stuff.

Helaine Becker. Illustrated by Claudia Dávila.
Toronto, ON: Maple Tree Press, 2006.
160 pp., pbk. & cl., $12.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-897066-54-6 (pbk.), ISBN 1-897066-53-8.

Subject Headings:
Life skills-Handbooks, manuals, etc. Young adults-Life skills guides.

Grades 2-8 / Ages 7-13.

Review by Wendy Williams.

*** /4


How to survive on a desert island:

Tip # 5: Starting to feel hungry? Weave a net out of coconut leaf fibers and woody vines…..use your net and a sharpened stick to catch some fish. Easier said than done – but what else are you going to do with your time – play video games?

How to get rid of hiccups:

Fill a glass with cold water. Exhale, getting all the air out of your lungs. Without inhaling, take ten sips of water. Slowly. Breathe a sigh of relief. Your hiccups are gone.

Instructions on how to get bubblegum out of your hair, and off your skin. The largest bubble ever blown used Bubblicious gum. It measured 58 c.m. (23 in.) across.

How to cope with a bully:
Tell somebody……….
Be kind to your self…..
Believe in your self…..
Defuse the bully……..
Walk away…………..
Stand up for your self..
Tell the bully how you feel

Join with other friends

Readers are given the option of choosing “At School” which has 22 amusing entries that range from “Boost your brain power” to “Dealing with a bully” or “Creating your own Website.” “Out and about” gives amusing and brief instructions on “How to Fly a Kite” to “Making the Perfect Snowman.” The “At Home” section ranges from “How to build a House of Cards” to “How to Amuse yourself on a Rainy Day.” “Anywhere and Everywhere” deals with “How to start your own business” to “Tell a Joke.”

     Like a Pro gives fun instructions on things that kids need to know, which, of course, are not the same as what adults think kids need to know. The kids I know would prefer to get a tip on how to speak in code to learning grammar and really useful stuff like how to bake the best chocolate chip cookies ever. The pages on how to fold an ace flyer were particularly practical, as were the pages on how to do card tricks. How to roast the perfect marshmallow would come in useful on camping trips this summer, as would the tip on finding the Big Dipper, avoiding bee stings, and throwing a Frisbee like a pro. Would I recommend this book? Yes, for all the practical, fun and useful tips that any kid could use.


Wendy Williams is a teacher-librarian in Calgary, AB, and so gets recommendations from Elementary to Junior High kids.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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