Interesting children in the reading experience can lead to a
lifetime of adventure, knowledge and opportunity. A child's
world is filled with endless amusements, but books offer far
more than a few hours enjoyment. It is just the beginning of
a lifetime of enjoyment. Young readers offer a special
challenge, piquing their curiosity, drawing the imaginations
into a learning experience.
In The Blue Ribbon Day, Katie Couric has used rhyming to create
the flow of her story, a tale of two friends who find that
differences are as wonderful as similarities. Couric uses
the rhyming technique for the latest adventures of Ellie
McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole, as the two friends try out for
soccer together. Unfortunately, only one of the girls excels
in the sport and is chosen for the team.
The challenge for Carrie O'Toole: she doesn't have exactly
the same talents as her friend Ellie McSnelly and fails to
make the team, after all. Not to worry. Couric has plans for
Carrie and an important life lesson as well. With a little
help from Carrie’s mother and a young friend, Lazlo, Carrie
learns the value of differences, in this case a successful
display at the Science Fair. Carrie and Lazlo win a blue
ribbon in the science competition and Carrie finds her own
way to shine.
There is much to be learned in this lighthearted romp
through the joys of girlhood; each child is blessed with her
own unique gifts; their individual qualities make their
lives more interesting. As the girls share in each other's
endeavors, they realize that diverse talents make life more
exciting, broadening the horizons for both.
The illustrations are bright and energetic, suggesting the
frenetic activities of this stage of childhood, a perfect
complement to the optimistic rhymes that propel the story.
Little girls are constantly beset with choices while making
a place in the society of other young females, decisions
critical to a developing sense of self-confidence and
self-worth. This enthusiastic approach to problem solving is
a delightful read, with subtle lessons of acceptance for
differences, one that can be read alone or shared with a
family member. Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole are perfect
role models who take on the world hand in hand, laughing all