Do you know the “What Do You Do With…?” series from Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom? Two members of this fantastic trilogy made their way onto our growth mindset booklist, and for very good reason. They’re beautifully illustrated, fantastically told, and tangibly inspiring to both children and adults alike!
In What Do You Do With an Idea?, we meet an unnamed main character (likely a boy, though ambiguous enough for girls to relate, too) who is presented with an idea, but wasn’t sure what to do, so simply walked away. Over time, the child realizes that ideas don’t simply go away that easily, and that even if other people think your idea is silly, that’s okay because its YOUR idea, and no one knows it like you. Though the concept of an idea is abstract, even our 4-year-old really understands this book. When she pulled it off the shelf last week to read, upon hearing the title, she said, “Oh, Mommy, when I have an idea, I turn it into a project!” And when the protagonist experienced social pressure to abandon his idea, she immediately announced that she never does that… She always sees it through “because it’s her idea!” (Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s not a growth mindset prodigy, but she’s at least understanding the important takeaways from these books!).
The second in the series, What Do You Do With a Problem?, tells the story of a young boy who encounters a problem. Rather than facing it head-on, he tries to ignore it, ultimately learning that ignoring problems often makes them bigger and more worrisome. Yamada wraps this book up directly, writing “Every problem has an opportunity for something good,” such as the opportunity “to learn and to grow. To be brave. To do something.” Once again, the way Yamada and Besom present these concepts is concrete and easy for small children to understand; the most recent time we reread this book, the same 4-year-old announced at the title page, “When I have a problem, I solve it!”
Lastly, Yamada and Besom conclude the series with What Do You Do With a Chance?, the second of their books that made our growth mindset booklist. In this one, a chance approaches the same protagonist, but feeling scared, he doesn’t take the chance. In fact, he passes on many chances, until he realizes that taking chances doesn’t mean being brave all the time. Rather, he just needs to be brave at the right moment to grab onto the chance and see where it takes him, now realizing that it might take him somewhere incredible.
In short, if you don’t know this series yet, start trying to collect it now. These timeless books are worth owning!
*To that end, I’d like to help you start your collection with a giveaway! One lucky follower will win a copy of What Do You Do With an Idea?! Visit my Instagram page for details on how to enter (click here!) and start your “What Do You Do With…” collection. Good luck! I hope you win!
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