Written by Ganit and Adir Levy, illustrated by Mat Sadler
Did you ever read Choose Your Own Adventure chapter books when you were a kid? This picture book is just like those – the premise is that the main character, Danny, is taught about his power to choose. As you read about his day, you get to choose how he reacts to a variety of situations and follow through with the consequences of those choices. There end up being 9 potential endings, from making all bad choices and Danny being extremely disappointed in his day filled with missed opportunities and privileges taken away, to a perfect day filled with fun activities and improved family relationships. They’re really common scenarios with realistic consequences that your child will be able to relate to! Danny is a fun narrator who shares his thoughts and feelings as we see each action play out.
During the reading:
- Let your child try different choices as you read, so they can see what happens with a variety of circumstances! It’s hard for children to think about long-term consequences to actions, so it could be helpful to follow a path to the end, then start again at one of the crossroads with a different choice that you follow through to that new ending to be able to clearly compare the differences in those days.
- As you read about the consequences of each choice, ask your child how they think Danny is feeling about those choices! We also see his mom and brother frequently, and make sure to ask about how they must feel based on the choices Danny makes so that your child can build empathy and practice taking the perspective of multiple people in a situation.
- There might be some good choices portrayed in the book that are hard for your child to personally make! If that’s the case, ask them about why they think the right choice is right, and emphasize how those difficult but good choices lead to positive consequences. Additionally, you can emphasize (as Danny’s dad does in one of the story lines) that all superheroes make mistakes, but they can try again with their power to choose the next day!
- If your child is feeling bad about a particular mistake that is similar to a choice Danny has to make, you could talk about the way that Danny could make up for his mistake (apologizing, making amends as possible, etc.) and how that will help him to feel better. That way, your child can see that modeled and have hope for themselves to be able to overcome bad choices they’ve made that are weighing on them.
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