• Melinda Cropsey

Breadcrumbs Best Book: Trying, by By Kobi Yamada + illustrated by Elise Hurst


(2021) Compendium, Inc., Seattle, WA.

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Kobi Yamada has delivered yet another “bound-to-be-a-classic” to the lexicon of Children’s Literature! Elise Hurt’s extraordinary pen and ink-wash illustrations add a magical quality to the tale. Trying dovetails beautifully with last week’s BLOG entitled “Better By Mistake” inasmuch as it highlights the role a good mentor can play in helping the student to develop a relaxed, playful, self-compassionate attitude towards inevitable “Mistakes” associated with the learning process.


Despite an innate enthusiasm, our protagonist, a young boy intrigued by an elderly sculptor, allows his fear of failure to inhibit him from even “trying” his hand at stone carving.


“I’d rather just watch. I can’t mess things up if I just watch.”

I’ve always loved the word enthusiasm. It comes from two Greek words: “en,” meaningwithin,” and “theos,” meaningGod”. So the word “enthusiasm” literally meansGod within!” We each enjoy a unique set of “enthusiasms” which naturally reveal themselves as we learn and grow.


Sculpting “was all I could think about.
Even as I slept, I dreamt of creating beautiful things.”

Thanks to the sculptor’s wise, empathetic counsel the young boy learns that “trying” is really about lovingly embracing an enthusiasm, and “Failures” are vital and necessary steps along the path to mastery. Trying is a 2021 “must-have” for your little one’s library!