The Olympics are almost here! Every couple of years when the games come bounding into our lives, I am reminded of a quote that so vividly reminds me of my childhood: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. My parents ingrained this mantra in my head, and it’s one I hope my husband and I instill in our boys as they grow. And as I read Alexandra Boiger’s Max and Marla for the first time, this is the phrase it made me think of… And this is why I immediately knew we needed this book for our home.
In Max and Marla, Max and his pet owl imagine themselves as the truest of Olympians. Champions! They understand that preparation is everything, so when they first take their sled up the mountain and experience “technical difficulties,” they don’t give up– they just fix the sled and try again the next day. And so the story goes, with Max and Marla facing challenges each day, yet tackling them again and again with everything they can muster. Will they succeed? Maybe, but maybe not… At least not in the way you may anticipate. That is the beauty of this sweet story.
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Let’s be honest- no little kid enjoys facing obstacles. They are challenging, scary, and often feel totally insurmountable. But the manner in which we choose to face these obstacles- with courage and ingenuity or with a bitter or defeatist attitude, is everything. I love Max and Marla for giving me a starting point to discuss with Pickle how important it is to maintain a positive attitude even when life doesn’t go according to plan, or when you are trying so hard to accomplish something, but for one reason or another, are having trouble succeeding. Sometimes true success may be found when traveling the unexpected path, and sometimes you may find yourself a champion even if your end result wasn’t quite what you envisioned. After all- if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The grand finale may very well surprise you.
Want the book? Get it here! Max and Marla, by Alexandra Boiger. *This is an affiliate link.
Max and Marla made our top ten favorite books on perseverance. For the full list, click here!