Like a Pro: 101 Simple Ways to Do Really Important Stuff
Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.
When you’re a kid, the things that are important to you are not
necessarily the same things that adults—especially authority figures
like parents and teachers—would consider to be important.
Consequently, when a book is subtitled 101 Simple Ways to Do Really
Important Stuff, the question has to be: Important to whom?
Among the book’s activities, there are some that many children would
want to do, most of them impractical, such as learning how to blow a
bubble within a bubble, how to whistle using a blade of grass, how to
spin a basketball on your finger, or how to win a staring contest. The
book, however, is heavy on practical stuff. While some of the practical
activities are “fun,” like learning how to build the world’s
greatest sandcastle, creating a website, or even learning how to bake
chocolate chip cookies, too many of them are adults’ perceptions of
The book’s contents are distributed among four sections with “At
School” and “At Home” being the most adult-weighted and containing
such kid-unfriendly activities as Do an A+ Project, Make an Awesome
Speech, Make Your Bed, Set a Fancy Table, and Have Perfect Table
Manners. Though the book is not necessarily meant to be read cover to
cover, browsers first encounter the “At School” portion and
consequently may abandon the book before reaching “Out and About”
and “Anywhere and Everywhere,” the book’s more child-centric
sections. However, those who do elect to undertake one of the activities
will find clear, step-by-step instructions. Not a first-choice purchase.