Book review: Look What I Can Do!

Learning new things is not easy, and sometimes children need a little motivation. Photo: Anna Vojtech

SILVER SPRING, March 23, 2013 – Look What I Can Do! by Nancy Viau, illustrated by Anna Vojtech ISBN: 9781419705298

This story follows animal babies through the forest as they try to do new things. The little deer is wobbly on her feet, the baby frogs try to catch flies with their tongues, little birds try to fly and little bears try to catch fish, all under the watchful eyes of their mothers. The story finally leaves the forest and finds a human family as a baby tries to walk and older children try to hit and catch a ball. All through the story, the children, whether fuzzy or not, are encourage to keep trying even though their new skills are not easy.

Photo by Robynlou Kavanagh.


Children of all ages are always learning new things, which can lead to frustration. Sometimes children can get so discouraged they want to quit, to stop trying. Parents are always looking for ways to encourage their tiny ones, and this is a great book for motivating young children who may be getting discouraged as they try to learn new things.

The text is simple, which makes this story good for younger audiences.  The recommended age group is 3-6, but it is suitable for younger children as well. With the refrain “Keep trying on your own. Be proud today. Have fun and play. In time you will be grown,” repeated throughout the book, you can use this as a mantra to encourage your own children as they struggle to learn, whether it is trying to take those first steps or learning enough hand-eye coordination to catch a ball.

Photo by J. Aaron Farr. Click to enlarge.


This is Viau’s first picture book, although she has a second due out later this spring. Illustrator Anna Vojtech has illustrated over a dozen other children’s books, including Ten Flashing Fireflies which was awarded a Gold Medal by NPPA, and Tough Beginnings was chosen by SSLI as the Best Book for Science for Children. Voljtech was a natural match for this story. Nature being an inspiration and constant theme through her work, Look What I Can Do! is no exception. The illustrations are colorful and really personify the animals to make them seem sympathetic and relatable.  

Published in March 2013 by Abrams Books for Young Readers, Look What I Can Do is available as a hardcover or ebook.


Follow Brighid on Twitter a @BrighidMoret and receive updates when new columns post on Facebook or Google+. Read more about first time parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times. Find more reviews of children’s picture books at Big Reads For Little Hands.


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Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer and first time mother.  She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  Find her on Facebook @Brighid Moret


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