With beautiful illustrations and rich vocabulary, Spirit is an analogy – a little boat that embodies a little girl’s spirit, tackling bigger challenges, and dusting itself off when things go wrong.
Told in first person, a little girl describes how she made a little boat, and took it to see if it could float. When it did, she aimed higher – could it traverse the creek? Could it traverse the river? She dreams of it every night, looking after it and getting it ready for the next challenge.
The boat Spirit is supported by gorgeously illustrated carp on its adventures – I’m choosing to interpret this as a visual metaphor for all the people who support each of us on our life journey.
When things go wrong, the girl is sad, and allows herself to feel sad for a little while, before making Spirit stronger than ever, and trying again.
I can see Spirit being very popular with teachers. There’s a big focus in education on helping children to develop their grit and resilience, and this book, with some guided discussion, could definitely pave the way for encouraging children to think about how they meet challenges and cope when things don’t go their way. It’s also simply a lovely book, and for that reason it should find a place on bookshelves in homes too.
Reviewed by Rachel Moore
by Cherri Ryan, illustrated by Christina Booth
Published by Black Dog Books