Perfect Picture Book Friday is Going Places!

When I was a child, my father brought home a box of Legos. The set held a handful of teeny-tiny plastic bricks, medium bricks, and others that were long, fat, and flat. The instruction booklet showed pictures for possible things the set could build. My sister made a tall, thin house with a steep roof. I built a short house with a flat roof. My Dad built a little plane. After we played with the toys we made, we snapped apart the bricks and saw what else we could build, using only our imaginations to guide us.

Flash forward: I’m married and have a daughter who has received an amazing Lego ship set for her seventh birthday. Her smile is bigger than a crescent moon. She lays out the instructions and stacks the Lego pieces into organized piles. For the next two hours, she builds that ship and sets it adrift in the middle of our coffee table. With a stern face, she instructs her dad and me NOT to touch it, NOT to play with it, and NOT to use the coffee table as she has repurposed it into a museum-grade, display table for her masterpiece.

YEARS have passed. The ship eventually sailed down to the basement where it is resting in drydock with other forgotten toys because…

there was nothing else the instructions said the Lego set could build but a ship.

Taking what we are given and seeing what other possibilities exist is the theme for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review.

Title – Going Places – view on Amazon HERE.

Written by – Peter and Paul Reynolds

Illustrated by – Peter Reynolds

Published by – Scholastic Inc. – 2014

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics/Theme –  Thinking outside the box (literally).

Opening – Rafael had been waiting all year long for the Going Places contest, a chance to build a go-cart, race it…and win.

When their teacher announced, “Who would like the first kit?” Rafael’s hand shot up.

Why do I like this book? Going Places shows us that some people will see the picture on a kit and follow the instructions EXACTLY, while other kids will say, “That’s nice, but what else can I build?” Peter and Paul Reynolds have created a brilliant story that inspires and encourages everyone, no matter their age, to look waaay outside the box and fly!

Learn more about Peter and Paul Reynolds HERE.

Until next Friday!

12 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday is Going Places!

  1. I haven’t read this one yet, but what a wonderful thought -to think outside the box! The Reynolds brothers are brilliant at that!
    I chuckled at your Lego description. We, too, have all of the creations in storage from years of Lego-mania with our son (soon to be 22). In storage bags, surrounded by bubble wrap, these feats of engineering & instruction-following have endured multiple moves & now grace our storage unit. I miss the old days of build-tear down-repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never built a go-cart, either. And after reading “Going Places” I doubt I ever will because I now know what magic can be built by following one’s imagination. I think a good reminder to dig deeper in my own writing – when I’m searching for something to delight the reader rather than give them what they expect– is to post a note beside my laptop that reads: Don’t build a go-cart.


  2. We’ve hosted lego-building events in the bookstore long before I joined the team, but now I am the lucky one who gets paid to make stuff with the kids for 2hrs! Yes, I know how lucky I am! There are pros and cons to the sets, for sure!


  3. Leslie…I am so grateful to you for sharing this story. I LOVE it! And will get a copy for my grandchildren. And I adore the story you started the post with…how very true…those lego sets these days are so specific…we need to encourage kids to expand their minds and THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX…oh yes!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Vivian,
      What I love about this book is that the message reaches beyond the PB audience. The story encourages me to dig deeper in my writing and not go with the first ideas (read: solutions to MC’s problem). In Going Places, the MC and his friend combine their go-cart kits and build something that requires loads of imagination…they build an airplane! To keep me thinking outside the box, I posted a note beside my laptop which reads: Don’t build the go-cart.


Your comments are welcomed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s