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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Let's Go Flo by Rebekah Ballagh

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

On one level, this is a story about a day in the life of a young girl: getting ready and going to school, missing her friends, getting through the school day, going home, helping to cook dinner, going to bed, and other day-to-day challenges she faces and navigates in one busy day.

On another level, all the things Flo encounters require ‘executive functioning’ skills: the ability to focus, pay attention, remember instructions and regulate emotions.

Author Rebekah Ballagh is a qualified counsellor and self-development coach. With this book she has created an excellent resource for caregivers and teachers about executive function and how we can help our younger generation with these key skills.

Let's Go Flo is an interactive book, giving adults a simple way to help children, and making it fun and easy for children to practice the skills. On one page, for example, the reader is invited to trace Flo’s hand and inhale as they trace up and exhale as they trace down. This teaches emotional regulation.

There is a big section at the back for parents and "other big people" where Ballagh really drills down into executive function, its importance and offers some ideas and ways to support children's development. She makes it super simple for "big people" who perhaps don't feel quite so confident navigating the space, even offering up question ideas to ask children for further development. Ballagh's previous book Big Feelings showed her compassion and wisdom, and she does it again with Let's Go Flo. She doesn't talk down to either the children reading the picture book or the adult navigating the more in-depth resource, and she distills some complicated information in simple, accessible language.

This book will be a wonderful resource for anyone who has or works with younger children. Schools especially should be looking to add this to their collections.

Let's Go Flo is a cute picture book about the challenges and delights a wee girl experiences in one day, but it is also a fantastic resource for the "big people" supporting our younger readers.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Allen & Unwin


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