Meet Jane, a dog with no apparent talent in a talent-ful circus.
She isn't strong like her father and can't carry elephants.
She isn't graceful like her mother and can't do tricks on a horse.
She isn't brave like her brothers and sisters and can't be shot from a cannon or walk on a tightrope.
She is Jane. She feels like an ordinary dog and worries she doesn't fit in this circus.
The ringmaster doesn't agree ...
This story is about celebrating our unique selves even if we aren't the greatest, the mightiest, or the most powerful people in the world.
Despite the background of no-special-talents, there is nothing ordinary about Jane. She might not be the fastest, most nimble or bravest dog, but she is hardworking and most willing to try her best at something. (By the way, isn't the anxiety to be as good as all others a universal worry?) Also, to be a dog, you'd have to be a real dog. You don't have to be able to fly or ride a horse. You just have to be a friend, a loyal companion. Do that well first and foremost. The rest -- the talents and skills, will come later. And even if they don't, they are not the point.
Confession: I have contradictory feelings towards this book. I love Jane. I love how she worries then understands she is a good dog. I love the message that even if you aren't the greatest, you are still very good enough just by being you. The story itself is fine. But I do have a problem with the use of 'ordinary' here. That word just rubs me the wrong way. I don't think 'Ordinary can be Extraordinary,' as it is claimed in the blurb. Being your best self can. <-- This is the message of the book, of course. I just felt 'ordinary' scratched my relish of this charming story.
Maybe you can shed some light and help me understand better: do you think being ordinary is the same as being mediocre?
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.