Kid Review – Do Your Best, Tess! – picture book

About the Book

Book: Do Your Best, Tess!

Author: Janet Morris Grimes

Genre: Children’s picture book – ages 4 – 8

Release date: June 28, 2022

Tess is as scattered as the toys and clothes all over her floor. She flits from one activity to another and forms the habit of never finishing anything.

But when her dream is on the line, she discovers the importance of not getting distracted so she can finish what she starts.

Do Your Best, Tess! is a read-aloud participation book. The reader will encourage and cheer for Tess as she learns to truly do her best.

The first in the Character is a Choice! series.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Grimes, Janet Morris. Do Your Best, Tess!. Illustrated by Jake Robbins. Plymouth, MA: Elk Lake Publishing, 2022.

Many children struggle with staying on task and doing their best. That is Tess’s problem in Do Your Best, Tess!. 

Janet Morris Grimes took a topic that most young children experience – wanting to play instead of doing chores. At the start the text focuses on the fact that Tess neglects her chores and “only tries a little.” She gets excited when her teacher announces auditions for the school play – Tess loves to sing and dance. But she gets distracted and only tries a little when preparing for the auditions.

I was a little disappointed that Grimes didn’t come back to doing your best at chores as a way to do your best in all of life. Tess has regret at not doing her best in the auditions so she asks for a second chance, and gets it. I was also a little confused by the repeated page text “Can we help you with this riddle? Do your best, Tess!” I have no clue what the riddle is so it seems like a bad term to use.

Jake Robbins illustrations complement the text well but seem flat. They also don’t strike me as very appealing for children, but maybe your children will like them.

Do Your Best, Tess! could find a place in a K-12 Christian school library’s picture book section.

I received a complimentary copy of Do Your Best, Tess! This is my honest review.

About the Author – Janet Morris Grimes

Janet Morris Grimes may not have realized she was a writer at the time, but her earliest childhood memories were spent creating fairy-tale stories of the father she never knew. That desire to connect with the mysterious man in a treasured photograph gave her a deep love for the endless possibilities of a healing and everlasting story.

A wife of one, mother of three, and Tootsie to four, Janet currently writes from her quiet two-acre corner of the world near Elizabethtown, KY.

Her debut novel, Solomon’s Porch, was a 2022 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Awards Finalist.

More from Janet Morris Grimes

The idea for this series started over twenty-five years ago, when it was my turn to write a skit for our children’s worship service at church. I came up with a rhyming, read-aloud, interactive story where the kids could help the main character make better choices. They loved it, and they remembered the fun catch phrase long after that night. We created some great memories through the story, and that’s what I hope to offer to children of today.

Do Your Best, Tess! is about a little girl who’s learning to finish what she starts, and why that’s so important. Tess gets distracted easily, and I think we can all relate, especially with today’s culture.

I so enjoy reading this story to my own grandchildren. They love helping Tess remember to put forth her best effort, even when she doesn’t feel like doing so.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Remembrancy, March 16

Vicky Sluiter, March 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 17

deb’s Book Review, March 18

A Reader’s Brain, March 19

Lily’s Book Reviews, March 20

Mary Hake, March 20

Texas Book-aholic, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 23

Cover Lover Book Review, March 24

For Him and My Family, March 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 25

Splashes of Joy, March 26

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28


To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed hard-cover copy of Do Your Best, Tess!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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