When Sophie Thinks She Can't... (Hardcover)

By Molly Bang, Molly Bang (Illustrator)

The Blue Sky Press, 9781338152982, 40pp.

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Three-time Caldecott Honor illustrator Molly Bang helps children solve problems by showing a different -- and highly effective -- approach: "I can't do it" becomes "I can't do it... yet."

When Sophie can't solve a math puzzle, she feels upset and inadequate. "I CAN'T DO IT!" she shouts, expressing the frustration all of us feel when we try and fail. Will she ever be "smart" like her sister? Maybe she isn't smart at all.

Luckily Sophie's teacher steps in. What does it mean to be smart? Using current, popular "mindset" techniques, Sophie's class is taught that we get smarter when we exercise our brains, such as when we work harder at solving a puzzle. Struggling to solve a problem doesn't mean "I can't do it!" Sophie and her classmates just can't do it... yet!

Readers will cheer when Sophie finally prevails, and at the end of the day, she's confident and optimistic. At home, Sophie uses her new technique to help her dad solve a carpentry puzzle.

In this third book about Sophie, Molly Bang again helps children deal with a challenging everyday issue, providing an opening to ask: What do you do when you think, "I can't!"?

About the Author

Molly Bang has written and illustrated more than twenty books for young readers, including iWhen Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry... /i; iTen, Nine, Eight/i; and iThe Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher/i, each of which were Caldecott Honor books. Bang divides her time between Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Northern California.

Praise For When Sophie Thinks She Can't...

"Sure to be a staple in classrooms everywhere." -- Kirkus Reviews

Praise for When Sophie's Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt:

* "Bang's thickly painted images exude energy and feeling, both in the children's expressions and through the exaggerated dimensions, angles, and colors. It's another lovely study in emotion from Bang and a thoughtful exploration of art-making." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"All libraries will want this bold offering for lessons on classroom manners, art, and individuality." -- School Library Journal

Praise for When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry...

Caldecott Honor Book

Jane Addams Honor Book

ALA Notable Book

Charlotte Zolotow Award

"Bang's evocatively illustrated book suggests no quick fixes; she treats childhood emotions with respect." -- Publishers Weekly

"Bang captures the intensity of Sophie's feelings with strong, broadly brushed forms and colors....Sophie finds a way to cope with her anger, quite laudably, without a helping adult hand." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Bang's double-page illustrations, vibrating with saturated colors...reveal the drama of the child's emotions."-- School Library Journal, starred review

"An elegant and thought-provoking book for...children learning how to deal with emotions." -- New York Times Book Review