I recently recommended a book about self-acceptance. It was fairly abstract and as such could easily be applied to physical disabilities, as well as other differences that might set children apart from their peers. Today I’m reviewing a book in a similar vein, but with a distinction: this story deals with children’s talents and aspirations.

That may not sound especially important compared to some of the other subjects dealt with in this series but, while it may not be life and death, it’s nonetheless hugely relevant in terms of our kids’ wellbeing.

Our children are subjected to various assessments from a young age. I’m very much against this myself, as I view exams in primary school as both unnecessary and inadequate in terms of revealing the true standards and abilities of pupils. With many education experts arguing that the results merely show performance in tests which doesn’t reflect intellect or knowledge, I feel validated in my opinion.

There are so many ways to be successful in life, and being academic is just one of those. The tests our children take in school make no allowance for extra-curricular talents, and yet there’s no reason to believe they’re any less valuable. (Personally I’d like to see more emphasis on apprenticeships.) 


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A Book to Encourage Our Children’s Extra-Curricular Interests and Talents

The book I’m looking at today is Lost for Words, by Natalie Russell, and its theme teaches children to avoid comparing and instead to embrace their own talents.

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The book is about a Tapir who is lost for words, and finds himself drawing comparisons with his friends who excel in their writing, whether it be poetry, storytelling, or songwriting.

Tapir’s friends are kind and offer words of encouragement, but he’s left feeling cross that he’s not able to compete. He tries various methods to inspire words to come, but nothing works and dejected, he eventually takes himself off to be alone.

Lost for Words

At last, Tapir stops trying to achieve what comes easily to his friends and instead does what is natural for him: he puts pencil to paper and draws beautiful pictures.

Finally he’s able to feel proud of what he’s accomplished, even if it’s different to his peers and not quite what he’d set out to achieve.

Lost for Words

The illustrations in the book are bright and colourful, and the story is sweet and uplifting. It’s demonstrates in a very simple way that we all have our own strengths, and that none is superior.

This is a really valuable storyline to teach to our youngsters and one that can’t be underestimated. With pressure on our children from a young age to score top marks in exams so they can attend higher education, this book communicates a precious lesson.

Check out more book reviews and recommendation in this series in the Moral Story Books for Children Index.

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is a huge advocate of personal growth, focusing on journaling to increase positivity and facilitate mindful motherhood. With a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and CMPA, Kate is also an expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

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