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Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn for Kids
John C. Maxwell
Illustrated by steve bjorkman

Hachette Audio
February 2016/ ISBN B00YQAL4P0
Children / Fiction / Sports / Audiobook (7 minutes, plus PDF)

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern


This audiobook for children (along with a PDF of accompanying illustrations) teaches about winning, losing, and doing your best. Read by leadership author, speaker, and coach, John C. Maxwell, the story concerns two children, Wendy and Wade who become disheartened when their team can’t win at Woggleball. They visit their grandfather who gives them encouragement to practice, do their best, and keep trying whether they win or lose. Taking their Papa’s advice to heart, the children score much better in the next game, now that the emphasis has shifted to doing their best, rather than winning at any cost.

Told through rhyme, the story is easy for young children to understand. Flipping through the fun and whimsical color illustrations by Steve Bjorkman on the PDF as they listen to the poem will make the book even more enjoyable. Maxwell pauses at the end of each rhymed couplet with only a slightly longer pause indicating when it’s time to turn the page. Without any visual cues, this audiobook would benefit from a sound cue or longer pauses to clearly indicate when it’s appropriate to move on to the next piece of artwork. In addition, there’s playful music at the beginning and end, but no music or sound effects throughout the story, even though the poem and illustrations would provide many opportunities to use sound creatively.

After the story concludes, Maxwell offers some suggestions for parents and children reading the book. He asks the kids, “What did you love and what did you learn?” He advises the parents to describe some of their own successes and failures to their children. Life has highs and lows – successes and failures, he writes. It’s important to learn how to handle setbacks when they do come, and learn from your mistakes. He tells children to keep trying and encourages parents to assure their kids they will always love them unconditionally.

Reviewer Leslie C. Halpern is the author of Passionate About Their Work: 151 Celebrities, Artists, and Experts on Creativity, Rub, Scrub, Clean the Tub: Funny Children's Poems About Self-Image, and Shakes, Cakes, Frosted Flakes: Funny Children's Poems About Table Manners.
Reviewed 2016