A Little Girl's Dream

I Can Do Anything

Children - Concept
30 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Seven-year-old Madison is excited to be taking tennis lessons. However, things don’t go quite as she thought they would. After watching tennis on television, she dreamed big about succeeding on the tennis court. At first, she couldn’t even hit the ball. With lots of tears and lots of encouragement from her coach and her family, Madison carried on, tried harder, and finally succeeded in hitting the ball. A girl who wanted to quit didn’t. She had the courage to try harder, to practice, and to perfect her technique, not to mention having a little fun along the way. With the repeated mantra, “I can do anything”, and the inspiration of encouragement from her supportive family, coach, and friends, hard work finally did pay off.

Madison Cooks’ book, A Little Girl’s Dream: I Can Do Anything, is a charming story about empowerment and believing in oneself. The story is told in the first-person narrative from Madison’s point of view, with repetitive phrases like “work hard,” “never give up,” and “dream big” to encourage young readers to help cheer Madison on. The bold and colorful illustrations with so many encouraging exclamations (lots of “wow’s”) make this is a positive story to encourage young readers to dream big and work hard to achieve their dreams. Madison’s dream was tennis, but there are lots of other big dreams to inspire young readers. This is a poignant story with a powerful message – and it’s amazingly written by seven-year-old Madison herself. I think this young tennis player has another big talent: writing!

Barbara Fanson

Don’t give up. That’s one of the lessons you’ll learn while reading the book A Little Girl’s Dream: I Can Do Anything! When a young girl takes tennis lessons for the first time, she’s discouraged because she can’t hit the ball. At the start, her family encourages her. But later, she discovers positive words that seem to help that she can say to herself. It’s nice when parents and coaches encourage us, but it’s also good to practice self-talk to encourage yourself to keep trying and not to feel discouraged. What positive words would you use to boost yourself? How can you reassure others? Author Madison L. Cooks has written a positive book to inspire children and adults of all ages to try something new and to strengthen our self-messages.

The beautiful, soft-colored illustrations will draw children into A Little Girl’s Dream while the positive comments will keep them engaged. I’m glad to see boys and girls of every color playing tennis so that all children will feel included and represented. Illustrator An Hryvtsova has created beautiful artwork, which accurately displays the emotions of the main character and the people around her. This book demonstrates self-love techniques and what words will help to energize ourselves and others around us. Learning to face our fears and not quitting is a life lesson we could all benefit from. Author Madison L. Cooks has provided us with more than just tennis lessons; she serves up doses of comforting and reassuring words to say to ourselves when we’re scared or feeling defeated. Teachers and parents will like this book as a way to launch a discussion on praise and empathy.

Kristine Zimmerman

Seven-year-old Madison Cooks has written an autobiographical story about her experience pursuing a dream. In A Little Girl's Dream: I Can Do Anything! we meet Madison and her family. One day she sees some girls that look like her playing tennis on television and tells her parents she would like to try tennis too. Her supportive parents surprise her with tennis lessons. Madison arrives at her first lesson a little nervous but excited. Unfortunately, she is not immediately successful, but thanks to the encouragement of her parents and coach she persists. She keeps practicing and gets better and challenges herself to begin playing in a group setting. Once again, the road is not smooth but through supportive peers, she continues and succeeds.

A Little Girl's Dream: I Can Do Anything! is an uplifting and positive story that will inspire kids of all ages. Madison Cooks has done a wonderful job in sharing both the ups and downs of learning something new. I so enjoyed the fact that not only did her parents and coach cheer her on but the kids in her tennis class embraced her and helped her feel welcome as well. As Madison demonstrates, success is not always achieved right away but through perseverance and encouragement, kids can achieve their dreams. The soft pastel illustrations by An Hryvtsova clearly show the emotions Madison feels on her journey. A Little Girl's Dream: I Can Do Anything! is a powerful story that will not only encourage kids to pursue their own dreams but also support others as they pursue their passions!