I read this book to two classes of 29 Junior Infants and it was a big hit with both! The book tells the tale of Rosie, an older (or more mature!) dog who sets out on a very special walk. Rosie is old and tired, but still open to adventures and, with a little help and encouragement from those who love her, manages to achieve her goals despite her challenges.
From the outset the children loved the character of Rosie. Many of them have pets at home and were keen to compare Rosie to their own dogs in terms of size, colour and age – all useful learning experiences! They listened attentively to the story, which gripped them from the beginning, and enjoyed the pattern and sequencing of the narrative (mountains, sea, park etc.) and the animal noises incorporated along the way. It was a good opportunity for them to think about what noises certain animals make.
Rosie’s story was set in environments familiar to small children (the park, the butcher’s, the bus stop, the bakery etc.) and the children liked talking about their own local community and neighbourhood.
The illustrations were clear and attractive and held the children’s attention. Without a doubt their absolute favourite part of the book was when Rosie became a pirate! They especially loved the idea of her hunting for treasure in her cape and her pirate hat!
In the classroom setting this is a lovely book to address the positive character strengths of Resilience and Perseverance. The story illustrates the power of imagination, and teaches us that through friendship and kindness and encouragement from good people anything is possible.
“Adventure and kindness is the key, to unlock a world for you and me”, was our favourite line.
When asked to give a score to “You Can Do It,Rosie!” the Junior Infants decided to award it “A million out of 10”! It’s hard to argue with that, but perhaps a more realistic and very well-deserved score would be 9 out of 10. This is a lovely book for children from Junior Infants to 1st or even 2nd Class, and a valuable addition to any classroom or home.
By Michelle O’ Sullivan, Deputy Principal, Scoil San Treasa, Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin.
“You Can Do It, Rosie” by Elena Browne, published by O’Brien Press, is on sale now for €12.99 (H/B).
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review