Friday, September 13, 2013

Kid Konnection: Can't and Able by Cynthia Fabian, illustrated by Daniel Stevens

Can't and Able by Cynthia Fabian, illustrated by Daniel Stevens
Strategic Book Publishing
ISBN: 978-1612043272
Published Dec 20, 2012
Softcover, 28 pages

Can't and Able is the story of two stars. Can't is teased by the other stars because he can't seem to shine as bright as they do. Able is an older and more experienced star who shines brightly and laughs at Can't for not being able to. When Can't ends up helping Able who gets hurt by a falling meteor, they both learn life lessons.

My son and I read this book together and although we thought it had a good message, we did not think the story was all that exciting. It was just okay for us. We found it a little wordy and sometimes confusing. It would have needed better editing. Able is introduced as Can't's friend at the beginning of the story but Able is a bully who teases him. Can't is unable to shine brightly “because of a slight defect in his ability to light”. Yet at the end of the story “suddenly, he began to shine brighter than any of the other stars shined.” Did this mean that he no longer had the defect?

The story suggested that if you believe in yourself you will truly be able to shine. However, if Can't had a defect with his lighting, how would believing in himself make him suddenly shine? I understand that metaphorically, one could shine as a person because of one's good actions or qualities no matter what disability they have. However, this did not come out clearly. It would have made more sense to stress Can't's actions as making him shine even though his light is dim and not as bright as the others, especially when the story ends with this sentence: “He was asked to join the Milky Way, where some stars shine brightly and some shine dimly, but where they all make up the light of the Milky Way.” (Italics mine)

The illustrations are very simple and cute with soft pastel colours, but it is hard to distinguish the difference between Can't and Able at times. In summary, this is a cute book with a good message but just an okay read for us.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura & Son

Disclosure: Thanks to Bostick Communications for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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