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What Do You Do With A Chance?

“What do chances become? New friendships, exciting opportunities, and daring discoveries.” Kobi Yasada, What Do You Do With A Chance? 

What Do You Do With a Chance? is another inspirational book by Kobi Yamada, one of my favorite children’s book authors. Kobi Yamada (author) and Mae Besom (illustrator) write and illustrate with beauty and wisdom. I think that this book, What Do You Do With A Chance is just as important for adults as it is for children. This book illustrates life’s opportunities and how we need to take chances and risks to open up opportunities.

The book begins with this…”One day I got a chance. It just seemed to show up. It acted like it knew me, as if it wanted something.” and then “It fluttered around me. It brushed up against me. It circled me as if it wanted to grab it. I started to reach for it but I was unsure and pulled back. And so it flew away.”

Looking back, I understand these words because we have all had chances, didn’t take them and then hoped that they we would get the opportunity for another chance. In What Do You Do With a Chance? the boy learned to take chances and “reached out and grabbed it. I held on with all of my might.”

After the main character gets that final chance, he is finally free and learns that you take the chance when you get it “because it just might be the start of something incredible.” When I read the book, I thought about how the boy went through many different and complex emotions in the book such as excited, fearful, regretful, brave, shy, sad and overjoyed. This book can be an excellent way to teaching and explaining different emotions to children. Use a “think aloud” approach as you are reading this book to explain these feelings.

This book can help elicit many meaningful conversations with your children. What is a chance? One of the best ways I explain more abstract ideas to my children is to relate it their life. For one child, it can be making a new friend. For another child, it could be getting the chance to play on the baseball team or getting the opportunity to take a special trip with a friend. Each person has their own dreams and takes their own risks. What I have learned very early on in life is that without risk, there are not many opportunities. When you get a chance as something important to you, take the risk and run with it! You never know because the chance may never come up again.

For some wonderful carryover activities, check out the Classroom Bookshelf’s post by Katie Cummingham here.

What Do You Do With a Chance?

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