What You Can Do, I Can Too

Children - Picture Book
26 Pages
Reviewed on 06/05/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite

This picture book is about women and their strength. Different women in various professions are shown to illustrate that girls can become who they want to be, whatever it is – even if it is in a male-dominated field. What You Can Do, I Can Too is written by Helen Vallaeys and illustrated by Dani Ward. Reading this story made me feel empowered. Sure, this book is focused on inspiring young girls but Helen Vallaeys wrote it so skilfully that even a grown up like me felt like anything is possible in this world. The story was that good. It has the ability to touch older readers but the story is easy to read through and understand for the intended audience as well.

The rhymes were fun to read and the words were easy to follow. The author was able to introduce some almost difficult words but with the way they are phrased, children will be able to understand the definition. That means, they learn not only life lessons but also vocabulary – good for communication! As fun as the story is, it really delivers well. This colorful story is for young girls to realize that they have the potential to be anything in this world. It is a wonderful guide for kids to tackle sexism and overcome obstacles brought about by prejudice.

The illustrations by Dani Ward serve as a helpful nudge in the right direction. Colorful and age-appropriate but with a hint of realism. What You Can Do, I Can Too is a powerful tool that can entertain girls but can also help them achieve their dreams. This book can also be read to boys. It could be a great lesson for them to uplift and encourage girls instead of putting the latter in a box. This story is highly recommended and a definite must-have.

Jack Magnus

What You Can Do, I Can Too is a children’s social issues picture book written by Helen Vallaeys and illustrated by Dani Ward. What career opportunities are available for a young girl to dream about? Vallaeys’ inspirational storybook answers that question with a look at the many different roles and professions women are actively engaged in right now. Her story starts with a look at Scientist Jo, whose search for a cure is interrupted by the fire alarm. Firefighter Aiko is part of the firefighting crew answering the call and is soon there with her fellow firefighters training the water cannon on the flames. Doctor Roz is waiting in the Emergency Room of the local hospital to help any of the injured. Next, to the hospital where Crew Chief Lexi sets out the day’s work objectives for the rest of her construction crew, and, high overhead, Sky Pilot Liz is warning her passengers to buckle up as their plane encounters air turbulence.

Helen Vallaeys’ informative and entertaining story highlights the variety of careers and professions young girls can consider for when they grow up. What I especially liked about this book is that the careers examined are lead rather than supporting roles. Without denigrating the marvelous and dedicated women who choose supporting roles, young girls should be encouraged to reach for the stars and to aim high if they so choose rather than feeling they have to settle for a traditional gender-specific role. I loved how each vignette flowed into the next, making the transition seamless and giving it a natural feel. Dani Ward’s illustrations are marvelous! They show each woman as an integral part of her environment from that research scientist to the judge sitting on the bench to those women athletes excelling in track and field. This is a grand selection for storytime and will optimally be followed up by asking young listeners what they want to do when they grow up. What You Can Do, I Can Too is most highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

What You Can Do, I Can Too by Helen Vallaeys is a children’s book that inspires young girls to follow their dreams without being held back by traditional perceptions of job roles. In the book, we first meet Jo, a hardworking scientist who is working on a cure for a devastating illness. She is passionate and dedicated to her work. Before long, an alarm sounds and she is forced to evacuate the premises. At this point, Aiko, a female firefighter, and the rest of the crew steps in to put out a raging fire in the building. Like Jo, Aiko is focused on her work. She is brave and courageous and her gender does not hold her back. Other characters in the book show the same zeal and ability to perform in their different professions.

The story maintains a seamless flow from one professional to the other in Helen Vallaeys’ What You Can Do, I Can Too. The accounts are connected through different activities and observations to ensure cohesiveness. The work is not only inspirational through its presentation of women in different roles; it also incorporates characters from different racial and religious backgrounds hence it will resonate with young girls regardless of who they are and where they come from. The illustrations are colorful and they capture the themes of the work impressively. The rhythm in the lines eases reading, especially for young readers, and makes the stories memorable. What You Can Do, I Can Too by Helen Vallaeys motivates through its outstanding theme that defies gender bias.