“And on the thousandth NO, she looked up and saw her great idea. It didn’t look anything like it did before. But she was okay with that.”


We’ve all been there: we cook up a great idea but all of the feedback we get is negative. We feel hurt, discouraged, anxious that our idea isn’t good enough. This kind of experience can be especially tough on kids, as they may be feeling these emotions for the first time. Luckily, DJ Corchin is here to offer encouragement in A Thousand No’s (Sourcebooks), an inspiring tale about the path to success told from the viewpoint of one little girl with a big idea.

When she comes up with an idea, she’s excited! Like all of us feel when we first come up with an idea, she thinks it’s a great one. But that’s when she gets her first no. That first no is hard to handle. It’s heavy, and it hurts. She keeps getting more and more no’s, and they get even harder and harder to handle. This experience is probably familiar for many adults who have dealt with rejection throughout their lives, but for kids, this may be new and unpleasant.

The no’s pile up and eventually they get inside her idea, despite her efforts to stop them. They begin to change her idea, and soon it gets so big she must ask for help. The simple but affecting illustrations each time she gets another no not only shows readers what is happening in the story but also shows how each and every no affects the girl’s emotions.

Soon, some of the no’s split her idea up; some of them make it easier while others make it harder. When her idea continues to grow, she needs more and more people to help her, and she learns to accept more input from others. Then she starts to get excited, wondering how more and more no’s would change her idea for the better.

When she receives her one thousandth no, she is no longer distraught like she was when her idea first was born. And when she looks up at her idea, it’s completely different from when she first imagined it. But now her idea has been changed in so many different ways that it has turned from a giant “no” to a “yes.” Shaped by the people around her, this idea has become even better. As this book echoes how so many great ideas are created, one thousand no’s don’t seem so bad anymore. In fact, they’re the reason that idea has become the very best version of itself.

In this story about how ideas get made, Corchin inspires kids to believe in their ideas and understand how negative feedback can help their ideas become better ones. Since the main character doesn’t have a name, any kid can relate to her and learn to model her experience. A Thousand No’s shows that everyone needs help when coming up with a great idea, and inspires kids to keep persevering even if it seems impossible. This is a perfect read for any creative or inventive child aged 4 to 8 (grades 1 to 3).

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About DJ Corchin:

DJ Corchin is the author and illustrator of many award-winning children’s books. He visits groups and schools all over the country discussing his stories and how people can find a path through their own creative universe.
He loves to connect people through humorous stories about communication, kindness, and social-emotional awareness. His books are known for being fun and thoughtful discussion starters for both kids and adults in this crazy, complex, human world.