Labor Day is behind us, summer vacation is over, and everyone is now back in school. It’s time to start off on the right foot, to make a good first impression on a new teacher and new friends, to color inside the lines and make everything just right.
That’s the hope, at least, of one little girl in Just Like I Wanted by Elinoar Keller & Naama Peleg Segal and illustrated by Aya Gordon-Noy. This little girl is determined to impress her teacher and her classmates with a perfect drawing:
I want to draw a picture that’s perfect in every way.
Ms. Hayes will show it to the class. “It’s beautiful!” she’ll say.
(I know that Lauren’s drawings are always best by far,
but this time, mine will be so good, I’ll surely get a star.)
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Staying inside the lines can be hard — and what happens when you make a mistake?
Oh no! I drew outside the lines! I really made a mess.
I think I’ll crumple up the page and throw it in the trash.
I’ll start again on something new, much better than before.
But wait! Maybe that scribble could turn into something more.
As this little girl learns, sometimes “mistakes” are just opportunities — opportunities to learn, opportunities to make something different, something even better.
It’s not a piano. It’s a horse! Yes, can’t you see?
It’s a horse! Off he gallops, fast and wild and free!
Just Like I Wanted is the perfect book to remind kids that no one is perfect and that even if our projects take some unexpected turns, that doesn’t mean they won’t end up being just what we wanted all along.