By Ashley Spires
(For readers in grades preschool–second grade)
Following the well-received The Most Magnificent Thing, Ashley Spires continues to bring the theme of perseverance to life in The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do. Lou and her friends enjoy being brave adventurers; they play and run outside, they build awesome forts, and they use their imaginations to be animal rescuers. Lou faces a crippling challenge when the adventurers decide they want to be pirates, but their ship is on top of high tree branches: Lou is terrified of heights. The story sets you beside Lou as she figures out how to face this fear in order to join her friends.
Spires uses fun text conventions to bring the story of Lou to life. Speech bubbles, thought bubbles, all caps messages, and bold text capture the reader throughout the text. Her illustrations underscore the theme, Lou’s expressions show her struggles.
We are almost done with school, and it has been a very long year due to the pandemic. School will soon finish and there summer will be shining like a reward. This story’s theme of perseverance is especially appropriate this month!
Spire’s text brings honest and humorous portrayals of today’s children! We can all relate to Lou’s struggle in letting fear get in the way of fun, especially thanks to COVID-19. The Thing Lou Coudn’t Do is a fun reminder that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything!