What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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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.

27760775Title: 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 theWhat Does It Mean To Be…?” series

Ages: 4-8


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!

photoThe 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.

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27 Responses to What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. What a creative subject for kids. I believe kids really enjoy problem to solving and coming up with unique solutions. And, it looks like teamwork is encouraged. Ray reminds me of Hermione Granger. This book sounds like a wonderful classroom book! I love the illustrations. Kudos to the authors and illustrator.

    • Joanna says:

      Rae certainly has some similarities with Hermione, Pat! Really there are so many subjects that can be covered in picture books, right?!

  2. I have a feeling I’m going to love this book and totally relate to Rae’s desire to be a young entrepreneur. When I was a child, my sister and I scoured the forest and areas around our house, searching for pretty pinecones and shiny stones. Back at home, we would set up a small folding table on which to display and sell our treasures to our parents for nickles and dimes. This book is now on my library list for this week.

    • Joanna says:

      I love you example of entrepreneurial childhood endeavors, Leslie, and I bet your parents were supportive! I think so many kids are going to relate to Rae!

  3. Patricia Nozell says:

    I’ve read this book already, too, and agree that these two entrepreneurial authors, and terrific illustrator, have done a wonderful job explaining concepts that many adults, as well as children, have trouble grasping. I can’t wait to share this book with college students I mentor in an entrepreneurship institute, as well as the other mentors!

    • Joanna says:

      I am so excited that you will share this with your college class, Patricia, as well as colleagues. I so believe that picture can be used in classrooms of all ages!

  4. This sounds SO COOL! Maybe I can learn something too – already inspired!

    • Joanna says:

      It is actually great for adults because it takes the fear out of the subject and makes it accessible to pretty much anyone. And, let’s face it, we are all now authopreneurs of sorts!

  5. I love how a big adult concept is made understandable for little kids. A Perfect Picture Book Friday Selection.

    Thanks, Joanna.

    Many people are clarifying their goals for their blogging this year. As am I. Good luck in your new job, Joanna.

  6. Cheers and thanks for your marvelously supportive review of Rana’s and my book, Joanna! We had a lot of fun writing and visualizing this book and it all came rather easily because we tapped directly into our own experiences being entrepreneurs as the founder of Little Pickle Press and drydenbks.

    • Joanna says:

      You are welcome. I love the book and I am glad you added the pages at the back sharing yours and Rana’s entrepreneurial backgrounds.

  7. Joanne Sher says:

    This looks absolutely fascinating! Definitely need to check it out (and others in the series)! Thanks for introducing it!

  8. Wendy Greenley says:

    This series is new to me. Thanks for sharing it. I didn’t get my own post up this week but will use your powerhouse schedule as inspiration. 🙂

    • Joanna says:

      If you do a search on my blog Wendy, I have already reviewed, “What does it mean to be Green?” and “What does it mean to be Global?”

  9. Andrea Mack says:

    This looks like a great book to empower kids! Thanks for your review!

  10. Sounds a great read to get kids aware that they can be entrepreneurial.

    • Joanna says:

      Right, it’s something I hadn’t considered talking about with young kids, but now I will. It is beautifully written and illustrated.

  11. Barbara says:

    I got a copy of What Does It Mean To Be Kind? for Christmas and had a blast sharing it with my students this week; SUPER excited that the next in this series is now here. Thanks for the lead on this treasure.

  12. Keila Dawson says:

    Love the idea. Thanks for the recommendation. Cannot have enough books with strong female protagonists!

  13. This is the book I wish I had for my kids when they were little. There’s a whole homeschool school of thought that kids can learn all sorts of subjects (and real life lessons, too) while running a business. What a wonderful resource Rana, Emma, and Ken have created!

  14. I’ve read a some of her books in this series, but not this one. Thanks for the review!

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