________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 38. . . .June 9, 2017


The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do.

Ashley Spires.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77138-727-9.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Alicia Cheng.

**** /4



This is new. Lou has never climbed a tree before.
“It will be an adventure!” says her friend.
Lou loves adventures, but this adventure is UP.
She likes her adventures to be DOWN.


Growing up can be difficult. There are things that we are scared to do. Things that we don’t believe we can do. Lou in The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do is stuck with that dilemma when her friends decide to climb a tree. Lou loves adventures. She would even consider herself a brave adventurer, but climbing up a tree just doesn’t seem possible. So Lou tries to avoid climbing the tree by keeping herself occupied by other “must do” things and by coming up with all the reasons not to try. With the enticement and encouragement of her friends, Lou finally decides to give it a try, but not without first trying all the other ways to get up a tree.

     Ashley Spires brings readers another charming story of a little girl experiencing new challenges and how she perseveres and faces her fears. And in the end, even though Lou still can’t climb up the tree, what matters is that she tried. When she has no more excuses, she finally sees that she is a brave adventurer for just trying. The simple illustrations and the text bubbles really bring out Lou’s character and help readers to focus on Lou’s story. Readers see Lou’s wild imagination come to life in Spires’ illustrations and see her conflicted feelings through her facial expressions. The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do is truly an inspiring tale that will resonate with many young readers as they learn to take on new challenges and discover the conflicted feelings of avoiding versus trying.

     Fans of Ashley Spires’ The Most Magnificent Thing and the “Binky” series will enjoy The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do. I also highly recommend this story to those little ones looking for an adventure or who just need the extra teeny tiny bit of motivation to be brave and give whatever it is that is challenging them a try.

Highly Recommended.

Alicia Cheng is an Acting Assistant Manager in Children’s and Teen Services at the Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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