The Power of Yet by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

The Power of Yet 
Review Copy from Abrams Books


While the title may make you think of a new-age-self-improvement book, The Power of Yet captures an everyday childhood frustration, presenting it in a way that shows young readers a concrete expression of an abstract concept.

Cocca-Leffler's piglet is the perfect stand-in for a child, with expressive eyes and chubby cheeks. "Not yet. Not yet. Not yet," dances across pages as we see the piglet try to ride a bike, flip pancakes, play the violin, be too short to ride the roller coaster and too young to play on a team. A teacherly adult tells the piglet that the, "path to YET is not a straight line. / It takes growing and doing, patience and time." The following pages show the piglet doing, practicing and growing, learning that it ,"sometimes helps to work together with someone who can do it better." Frustrations and failures, along with successes, come along with a birthday as the piglet learns that having power and courage is something called GRIT. I know that "grit" has been a popular, possibly overused, concept in parenting and education since Angela Duckworth's 2016 book of the same name, but The Power of Yet is the first time I've seen it used in a picture book in a way that doesn't feel overly didactic. Cocca-Leffler's book does feel a bit formulaic at times, but that's not always a negative when conveying an abstract idea to young readers. Her illustrations are playful and engaging and her piglet is easy to connect with. Readers will definitely be buoyed by this book.

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