Because I Had a Teacher


It seems like the last few months have just flown by and we are now on a race to the end of the school year.  As a former teacher those last few weeks edging toward summer are an incredibly special time of year, in fact I believe they are magic, there is so much energy in your classroom, the days are getting hotter and longer and the excitement for summer builds with each passing day.  As a parent, this time of year is incredibly important as well, because it is a time for our family to recognize the hard work and dedication of the teachers that serve our daughter.  Today, we are sharing a really special book with you all.

Teacher_Jacket and Case_test

I have to say I am a huge fan of Kobi Yamada and his writing, my family loves his two books What Do You Do With An Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem?  They are absolutely wonderful books that belong in every single classroom and school library.  Mr. Yamada has an incredible talent, in that he is able to connect with kids through his words and stories.  So when I heard that a new book as coming out, that was entitled Because I Had a Teacher, well I just knew it had to be swoon worthy and guess what?  It is!

Because I Had a Teacher 3

Because I Had a Teacher by Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Natalie Russell (Compendium Inc, 2017) is am homage to great teachers everywhere.  To teachers who inspire, care, support, create spaces for learning and overall make a difference in the lives of our children on a daily basis.

Because I Had a Teacher 2

This darling little book filled with heartwarming illustrations that evoke a sense of whimsy and wonder.  This book could be told from the point of view of a child or an adult reminiscing about their favorite teacher.  Either way, it is a perfect read for little ones as well as a touching gift for a favorite teacher or mentor.

Because I Had A Teacher

Our favorite part of the entire book is the final line:

Because I had you, I learned to believe in me

If you are not familiar with Kobi Yamada and his other works you will need to get to your local library or bookseller, his books always cause you to think, to wonder, to appreciate and best of all to believe in yourself and your own abilities.  This book does just that, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Bloggers Note: We want to thank Compendium for the use of images in this post.


An Inspiring Read…What Do You Do With an Idea?


The petites and I saw What Do You Do With an Idea? the other day and immediately fell in love with the stunning illustrations by Mae Besom and the inspiring story from Kobi Yamada.  This is one book that I think all parents and teachers will want to add to their repertoire.

This is the story of a petite who has an idea, it starts out small and then grows into something beautiful.  The illustrations are amazing in that the little one is androgynous, letting the reader decide.  The idea follows him/her around and sometimes people look at him/her a little funny, but he/she perseveres and keeps on growing the idea.  The idea is a little golden egg with a paper crown, the image is so perfect.


What I loved the most about the idea is that the crown is made from paper and held together with tape, I love that Mae Besom thought to make the idea exactly as a small child would do it.  Brilliant.  While the idea is growing he/she gets more and more comfortable with it and in doing so eventually gets to a point where he/she really dedicates time to the idea.  Then the most amazing thing happens, his idea hatches and turns into the most beautiful colorful images.  With one of my favorite final lines of a book.

What do you do with an idea? You change the world.

For Teachers:

I think this would be an amazing book to use at the beginning of a writer’s workshop.  There are so many points in this story that are so valuable

  • that the idea starts out small
  • the idea is something the petite isn’t sure about, is almost nervous about
  • the idea is always there
  • with dedication the idea it begins to grow and blossom.

After reading this book, I started to think about whose classroom I could guest teach in just to read this amazing book.

I absolutely love this book.  I plan to get this for my girls because I believe that reading this story with them will foster confidence in their ideas.  As a parent this is something I think about often, how our little people especially girls don’t always have confidence in their ideas – especially those really quiet petites.  I believe that this book put in the hands of parents, teachers and librarians could empower our petites and inspire them to put their ideas out into the world.

Want to know more about the author:

Kobi Yamada is the CEO of this really amazing company in Seattle called Compendium they make some pretty amazing journals, notecards and really beautiful gift books that are sure to inspire and you might want to check out.