The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do book cover

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do

Lou and her friends are BRAVE adventurers. They run FASTER than airplanes. They build MIGHTY fortresses. They rescue WILD animals.” But one day, when they're looking for a ship to play pirates in, Lou's friend has an idea: “Up there! The tree can be our ship!” “Ummm ...” says Lou. This is something new. Lou has never climbed a tree before, and she's sure she can't do it. So she tries to convince her friends to play a not-up-a-tree game. When that doesn't work, she comes up with reasons for not joining them --- her arm is sore, her cat needs a walk, you shouldn't climb so soon after eating. Finally, she tells herself she doesn't want to climb the tree. But is that true, or is this brave adventurer just too afraid to try?

Distinctions: OLA, Best Bets List (2017)

Leaving the Trail June 30, 2022.

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do. Text © 2017 Ashley Spires Illustrations © 2017 Ashley Spires. Reproduced by permission of Kids Can Press, Toronto.

Spires’ bright, expressive illustrations and playful text put the reader right into Lou’s cute little black running shoes. As Lou struggles, she develops into a more authentic version of herself. And in a refreshing twist, she doesn’t manage to climb the tree: the important thing was to try.


Lesson Plan

The Lesson Plan for The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do is available with purchase and sent to an email address provided by the school board. To view a sample Lesson Plan, click on the file below. It is based on “Trampoline Boy”.

Sample Lesson Plan
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do lesson plan cover

Book Creators

Ashley Spires

Ashley Spires portrait

Ashley is the author and illustrator of many books including the best-selling The Most Magnificent Thing and the Binky The Space Cat series. She is a drinker of tea, eater of candy and lover of cats. When she is not making books, she enjoys yoga, jogging and fostering orphan kittens for her local shelter. Ashley lives just outside Vancouver, British Columbia with her dog and far too many felines.