WHEN SOPHIE THINKS SHE CAN'T... by Molly Bang

WHEN SOPHIE THINKS SHE CAN'T...

by ; illustrated by with by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sophie gets really, really discouraged.

Bang’s latest offering about blonde, white, emotive Sophie promotes a growth mindset as it details her shift from discouragement to perseverance. While the expressive style of Bang’s vibrant, gouache paintings will be familiar to those who know the previous Sophie titles (When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry…, 1999, etc.), this story seems more text-heavy than its predecessors. This difference isn’t detrimental to the book, however, which begins with a hurtful experience at home. This causes Sophie to adopt a fixed mindset that she isn’t smart enough to succeed in school when her teacher presents a math problem. Sophie’s friends also struggle, and then their teacher introduces them to “the Most Important Word…YET. You haven’t figured it out…YET.” These interactions take place in a classroom populated by diverse students and led by a black teacher, and with her encouragement, Sophie and her classmates keep working to solve the problem in their own ways. The resulting shift to a growth mindset makes them believe they can make progress in their learning. Their teacher celebrates their success at the book’s end, and then Sophie brings her newfound confidence home and uses it to help her father work through a project that’s stumped him. Like the Little Engine before her, Sophie now thinks she can, and that makes all the difference. Bang explains the concepts and her collaboration with educator Stern in an author’s note.

Sure to be a staple in classrooms everywhere. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-338-15298-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2017




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