Octavia Can Do It!

Octavia loves helping her mother bake cookies! One day, Octavia decides that she is big enough to bake cookies all by herself—and she is determined to do so. Her mother offers to help measure ingredients and use the oven, but Octavia becomes impatient when her mother steps out of the room for a phone call that lasts a bit longer than expected. So, Octavia and her brother Ludovic take matters into their own hands and are finished mixing the batter in no time. But will the cookies taste as good as when Mama makes them? This cautionary tale blends the impulsivity of youth with careful, supportive parenting. Written for a younger elementary school-aged audience, this narrative utilizes large passages of text on each page that help to describe what is happening in the illustrations. Often, readers are prompted to ask “is this a good idea?” as each scene unfolds. Filled with rich color and playful font, this book is immediately visually accessible to young children. Child-friendly illustrations complement the text and fill out the majority of each page, incorporating visible charcoal lines and watercolor textures throughout. Readers will not only recognize the impatience Octavia demonstrates throughout the story, but they will also appreciate the tenacious spirit that drives Octavia to try again. At the end of the book, readers will find a recipe for Octavia’s favorite cookies so they can try their own hands at baking. This addition provides a delicious STEM-based extension activity for the book as well as a way for families to bond in the kitchen. Independent young readers and their families will love reading Octavia’s story together, especially as a reflection of the behavior often witnessed at this age. This is a charming addition to home libraries for families with young children.

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