Today I have a double feature of books and I'm really excited because they transition us from January's theme of growth mindset into...

'A Thousand No's' and 'Kamala and Maya's Big Idea' - Read and Rise

Today I have a double feature of books and I'm really excited because they transition us from January's theme of growth mindset into February's Black History month perfectly! 

Our first book is "A Thousand No's" by D.J. Corchin. It is the story of a girl with a great idea who unfortunately runs into a lot of "no's." But she doesn't give up, and will a little imagination and collaboration, all of those no's turn into a yes! I think the abstractness of the book has the potential to go above some young reader's heads, but its strength lies in being vague - because there is no detail given about the girl's idea, each child has the opportunity to insert their own great idea and learn that it's perfectly normal and natural for that idea to be rejected or fail and evolve along the way. The key is to keep trying until you're proud of what you've done. One thing I want to mention is that the no's don't always have to be external - sometimes they come from you! Sometimes you're the one who says this is not working, I don't like this. It's important to view that as an opportunity for innovation rather than proof your idea stinks.

Our second book, "Kamala and Maya's Big Idea" by Meena Harris not only celebrates Kamala Harris - a woman who last month made history as the first female black South Asian vice president of the United States - but also provides a concrete example of how an idea that is faced with many no's can persevere nonetheless. "Kamala and Maya's Big Idea" recounts the story of how Kamala and her sister Maya came up with the idea to get a playground for their apartment complex's courtyard. With each no, they stepped back, re-evaluated their idea and changed their strategy until they created a beautiful playground for all the children to enjoy.

Activity: There are a few ways I thought these books could inspire little ones. 
1. Draw and write about your own great idea and (no matter how big or small!) and figure out the first step toward making it happen. Then, the next step and the next...

2. Think of a place you would like to see a playground. It could be at a local park, a school, a library, a shopping center, their friend's house...anywhere! Then draw what you would like for the playground to look like and brainstorm if you think it would be possible to put in a playground and if so, how you might go about doing it. (note: the purpose to this activity isn't in doing, it's in the planning. I think an equally important lesson to "no does not have to be the end" is "not all ideas have to come true." There have been many times I've come up with what I thought was a great idea but when I sat down to think it through, I realized that it was more effort than I thought it was worth, it was something I wasn't really interested in doing, or it just wasn't as great an idea as I originally thought! And that's ok! The important part to remember is, never give up on an idea you love because someone else says you can't do it or you're worried you'll fail - because, honestly, you probably will! But that's how the best ideas come about! Cardboard Mom wouldn't be here if my first site hadn't failed...)

3. At the end of "Kamala and Maya's Big Idea" Kamala says "I'm wondering what the view is like from the roof." What do you think Kamala might have wanted to do on the roof? Draw about it!

I hope you are all inspired to make your great ideas come true! <3