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I Promise

Last updated Monday, January 25, 2021

Author: LeBron James
Illustrator: Nina Mata
Date of Publication: 2020
ISBN: 0062971069
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2020

Synopsis: I Promise is a lively and inspiring picture book that reminds us that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today. Readers learn of the vows of young students to improve their lives and achieve their goals. With rhyming text, the narrative follows a group of students of varied races throughout their day: "I promise to be open and try new things and enjoy the happy that change can bring." In this school, children help one another when they fall down on the playground, support studying hard, and stand up for what is right.

Note to readers:
•  The author of this book is LA Lakers basketball star LeBron James.
•  The illustrations for this book show the various ups and downs that small children can go through in a school day, so you might take time to point them out.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know what a promise is?
•  Have you ever made a promise to anyone else?
•  Have you ever made a promise to yourself? What was it?


•  alley-oop: when one player throws a basketball up to another player who is jumping up to the hoop so the second player can dunk the ball into the hoop
•  courageous: brave
•  humble: modest, not proud
•  peers: people who are the same age group, grade, ability, or position
•  second chances: getting another chance after making a mistake

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think it's easier to make a promise or to keep a promise?
•  What is something that you tell yourself when you have to do something hard?
•  How do the kids in this book help each other keep their promises?
•  In this book, the kids promise to do many things. What would you promise to do?

Craft ideas:
•  Write I PROMISE at the top of a paper. Then underneath that title, write what you promise to do and draw a picture of yourself doing it.
•  Draw a picture of what you want to do next month in the new year.
•  Make a holiday card.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Illustrator Nina Mata reads I PROMISE, and LeBron James speaks to young readers:

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!