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Parents' Guide to

What Do You Do with a Chance?

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Life advice for the young shows how to snag golden chances.

What Do You Do with a Chance? Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Folks who like their lessons in fable form will relate to this inspirational tale of a young boy and the winged golden "chance" he works up the courage to grab. Set in an unspecified time and place, What Do You Do with a Chance? features a ruddy-cheeked boy with tousled hair who wears slouchy boots and a tunic with a pattern that looks vaguely Nordic, and lives in a town that suggests medieval Europe (though one child wears glasses and reads a book). Illustrator Mae Besom paints the town and other inhabitants in sepia, while the boy is in color and the chance is bright gold.

While the story is abstract, it resonates because it pictures the chance as real and physical, bright and butterfly-like. Also, author Kobi Yamada has written the boy as recognizably human -- embarrassed when he falls and others laugh, continuing to yearn for a chance, and wondering "if I would ever be brave enough." The mix of feelings rings true. He thinks, "Maybe I don’t have to be brave all the time. Maybe I just need to be brave for a little while at the right time." And when he runs after the chance, "It wasn't that I was no longer afraid, but now my excitement was bigger than my fear." By articulating the steps in the boy's decision to be brave, the story gives kids language to guide and support them in their quest to seize their own opportunities.

Book Details

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