Abracadabra! The Magic of Trying
Maria Loretta Giraldo, Author
Nicoletta Bertelle, Illustration
Magination Press, Fiction, Apr. 23, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Animals, New experiences, Fear, Practice, Setbacks, Courage, Perseverance
Opening: “Today was an important day at the little birds’ school. Today was the day they all learned how to fly!”
All of the little birds have learned to fly…except one. Little Owl can’t do it! He is too afraid of falling. Blackbird, Robin, Sparrow and Hummingbird explain that it’s easy. All he has to do is say “abracadabra!”
At first, it doesn’t work, and Little Owl thinks the “magic” word is broken! But as he gets better and better, he realizes that the real magic is in himself. This book teaches children how to face challenges and keep trying, despite setbacks.
An empowering story of gradually overcoming fear that will resonate with young children. A great purchase for most collections.
Why I like this book:
Maria Loretta Giraldo’s engaging picture book realistically depicts how slow Little Owl’s progress may be, yet how rewarding it is when he overcomes his fear and succeeds in the end. He glides through the sky and his self-confidence soars.
This story has a memorable cast of forest characters — the birds, a turtle, a mouse, hedgehog — who turn out to encourage Little Owl to take the leap and flap his wings. They offer suggestions and continue to support him. Each one tells him to say the magic word, “abracadabra,” but it doesn’t work. No matter how many times Little Owl tries, he fails and crashes. But he doesn’t give up and keeps trying.
This book is a useful book for parents to have on hand when their child tries to do something new, like riding a bike or swimming. Some children may be afraid of failing, hurting themselves and don’t want to try. Like Little Owl, trying something new takes practice and perseverance, no matter the setbacks. It is so important to support a frustrated child. Practice takes time, but is well worth the effort.
Nicoletta Bertelle’s signature illustrations are colorful and whimsical and compliment the story. She is a long-term artistic partner with the author.
Resources: The book includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with tips for encouraging kids to practice and persevere.
Maria Loretta Giraldo is an Italian children’s writer based in Verona, Italy. She is the author of more than 100 books published and translated all over the world. Nicoletta Bertelle has illustrated more than 80 books for many Italian and foreign publishers.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
A copy of this book was provided by Magination Press.