I am shuffling my blogging schedule around a little this year. With my new job and a desire to have this next novel’s first draft finished by June, I shall be reducing my posts to twice a week. Tuesdays will be my interviews, and Fridays will be either PPBF reviews like today’s, and/or my continued recommendations of books focusing on diversity in children’s literature.
Title: What Does IT Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?
Authors: Rana DiOrio & Emma D. Dryden
Illustrator: Ken Min
Publisher: Little Pickle Press, January 2016
Themes: Entrepreneurship, problem solving, innovation, creativity, concept book
Series: #6 in the “What Does It Mean To Be…?” series
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Does it mean making lots of money? No.
This book takes a big “adult” concept and unpacks it for young children with a punchy story and bright attractive illustrations. When Rae, a curious and creative little girl with a quick mind, witnesses a dog-meet-ice-cream mess, she responds with a great What-if?moment. Rae sees an opportunity rather than a problem. She applies guts, research and some trial and error until she comes up with a creative solution. Rae, her friends and their community discover what it means to be an entrepreneur and how it is in no way restricted to adults.
Why I like this book:
These two entrepreneurial authors have taken a concept that many of us would limit to maybe lemonade stands or Girl Guide cookies, and they have presented to young children with humor, clarity and challenge. Rae, the young protagonist, displays characteristics and skills that any teacher would want to promote in her classroom. Who wouldn’t want to encourage kids in, “working harder than you ever imagined-all while feeling joy,” or “having the humility to learn from your mistakes?” There is nothing didactic about Rae’s desire to come up with a solution to the doggy dilemma, and her curiosity and resolve are contagious. She starts with a questioning look at her water bottle and the sticky hounds and through research, planning, testing her theories and revising her product, she comes up with a cunning solution. Her creation perchance finds some inspiration from a movie topping our charts at the moment. What-ifs often come from making these connections in our subconscious and allowing our imaginations free reign.
I love how Ken Min has captured Rae’s spunk and zeal, and a certain mischievous look at times. And while it takes Rae’s individual determination, friends are included in the outworking of the plan. Entrepreneurs need support, right?!
As with the other books in the series, this book starts by asking three questions to clarify what entrepreneurship isn’t, which makes a strong opening. I also had to laugh at the third question,
Does it mean speaking French? No!
The book reflects the quality and professionalism I have come to expect from this publisher and the message is accessible to young and old. I appreciate the environmental printing as well as a perfectly illustrated fun couple of pages about the authors and illustrators at the end of the book. I would recommend the whole series for classrooms. #6 will spur listeners and readers to think big in 2016! It is a book that empowers children.
- The book and others in the series can be bought from Little Pickle Press.
- Here are some early childhood problem-solving activities for preschoolers from First Childhood Education
- Lego is a great resource for a creating activity in response to the story.
- With older children, groups could be given a problem, such as Rae’s Doggy Wash Dilemma, and then encourage them to come up with a solution together as a team.
- 10 games that promote problem-solving skills.
- A discussion with older students about entrepreneurs they know (maybe some of their family members?)
- If you share examples of famous entrepreneurs, make sure to include women and men from different cultures and nations!
- I would love to see the character, Rae, in some other stories! Maybe the class can come up with a series of Rae stories?
- This Tuesday I posted my interview with Little Pickle Press’s Vice President of Digital, Communications and Community Engagement, Lee Wind.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.