4 out of 4 stars
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“A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Adams
You can, you can! by Lawrence P. Bestmann is a multipurpose children’s book that enhances both the reading abilities and vocabulary, as well as the motor skills of young readers.
A 7-year-old boy named Binky has a “clumsiness” which causes him to avoid playing with other kids, lest they would reject him or laugh at him due to his incoordination. He encounters a frog named “Fred,” who guides him into a stepwise approach to exercise without falling, in order to exceed his expectations and to not be afraid of judgment or failure. Fred also leads him to his coach, coach Ikan Kanyoo, who trains both animals and humans.
The book has two parts: the story itself, and the exercises. Hence, it’s a booster for both. The target audience is young readers to Grade 2. The author explains how to get the most out of the book. It is best read with educators, parents or a big sister/brother if parents are not around. The significance of the presence of an older person is to help the kid learn new words. Besides, adults could use some exercise, too!
I found the writing style to be clear, smooth, and appropriate for the intended age group. Children can relate to it because it touches on issues they face on a daily basis at school. Furthermore, the photos of Binky are pleasant, and the illustrations are joyful and representative.
I liked the sense of appropriateness and the kindness incorporated into the dialogue. Take a look, “My name is Fred. I may be a little overweight as anyone can certainly see, but donʼt ever call me Fat Fred. I donʼt like it. Fred or Freddy is okay. You can even call me Green, but donʼt talk about my plumpness, please.”
On a related note, I was enthralled by the encouraging messages and the emphasis that learning should be “fun.”
Moreover, I was impressed by the inclusion of new words along with their meaning in the dialogue. Here’s an example, “He was a “hindrance”, meaning he didnʼt help his playmates win.”
Also, “Whatʼs confident?” Binky asked. “Sure of yourself, son.” answered the coach. “Knowing that you can do a thing well."
The only thing I disliked was to see the book end; I turned the last page waiting for more. How I would love to see Binky’s adventures made into a series!
On a side note, the author is a physical educator who has taught all levels from preschool through the doctoral level. His extensive expertise and passion are evident, and they show in the smooth and caring approach to kids, as well as the reinforcement of their sense of accomplishment.
I recommend obtaining this book in every home, and I believe it would appeal to a wide range of readers. The motivation and positive values, the enjoyable dialogue, the rich words, and the series of hops, of course, make for this an excellent children’s book and an asset for adults, as well. The impeccable editing rendered it virtually error-free and a delight to read. I am, therefore, thrilled to rate You can, you can! by Lawrence P. Bestmann 4 out of 4 stars.
On a final note, Bestmann’s following sentence has become my 7-year-old little girl’s favorite when she wants to encourage herself, “You can do it if you try, you can, you can!”
You can, you can!
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