Book Review: Making a Splash

Author: Carol E Reiley
Illustrator: Jason Pastrana
Interest Level: Ages 3 and Up
Book Website: GoBrain

From the Author: Most people assume that you’re born with a certain amount of intelligence, and that there’s no way to become smarter. But science shows that this is wrong. We now know that intelligence can be developed.  

When discussing how to raise our kids, the growth mindset was the most important thing we wished to instill. I thought that this was an important story to share with the world.

Perhaps your children sometimes go “I can’t do that!” or “I give up!”.  Well, if they say this often enough, they might start to believe it, thus limiting their ability to learn.
I want to show your children that they can learn to do anything.  This way of thinking is called a “Growth Mindset.”  I’m applying the latest research from developmental
psychology in a children’s book called “Making a Splash.” Which tells a story about two siblings, Lisa and Johnny, and how they differ in their attitudes towards learning.
The book contains a powerful message about the growth mindset, that will stay with your children.  The fundamental message is that it’s not about how smart you are.  It’s about how smart you can become.  So, when your children are confronted with tough decisions, I hope the book’s message will encourage your children to view it as an opportunity to grow, and not be afraid to fail.

Why It's on My Bookshelf: Siblings Lisa and Johnny are both learning to swim. For Johnny it comes naturally and he doesn't have to work at it. Lisa has a more difficult time and becomes negative - Swimming is too hard, I CAN'T do this. Her coach teaches her the power of yet. You can't do this YET. When you practice hard, things get easier. That's how we learn. 

Johnny takes the attitude that swimming is easy and he doesn't have to work at it. His thinking is - you've either got it or you don't. He doesn't challenge himself and decides it's silly to want to try anything harder - which puts him on the road to a fixed mindset. Lisa wants to get better so she chooses to take on challenges which are much harder - a growth mindset. Each of their decisions on how hard they worked impacts a day at the beach. Johnny is not able to go into the ocean but because Lisa worked so hard learning to swim she is able to go in no problem. 

Could this be any more perfect for the start of the school year?! This is also the first picture book I have come across using the Growth Mindset model and language. It's so easy for children to just give up on something like Lisa did in the story. Negative self-talk and comparing yourself to others does a real number on confidence. I hope to use this awesome resource to help those kids this year. If you are a teacher, parent, school counselor or someone who wants to teach kids about the power behind Growth Mindset - use this great story. It has life long lessons that kids can apply immediately and you can reinforce. Yes for Growth Mindset!!!

GoBrain also lists some great mindset resources here.

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful:

1 comment

  1. This is perfect timing! I've been wanting to focus on the character trait of being teachable and accepting feedback and learning wisdom from others and I couldn't find any children's books on this topic at all. This growth mindset stuff fits perfectly. Thank you!