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Children's Nonfiction General

Like a Pro

101 Simple Ways to Do Really Important Stuff

by (author) Helaine Becker

illustrated by Claudia Dávila

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Mar 2006
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2006
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2006
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 6


This perfectly portable handbook for kids will make them experts in all manner of things — from how to write the perfect thank-you note to how to change a bike tire to how to get rid of the hiccups, and everything in between. What kid wouldn’t want to know how to deal with bullies, throw an awesome party, keep a secret, and bake the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies? And what about those practical skills like setting a table, making a bed, and scoring an A+ on a school project? Hilarious excursions that fall into the category of “You Never Know but Just in Case…” fill readers in on what they need to know if they should ever find themselves in the position of having to entertain a royal guest, prepare for a space mission, survive on a desert island, or accept an Academy Award — like a pro!

About the authors


Helaine Becker
est l'auteure de nombreux livres jeunesse primés. Elle a écrit plus de 80
livres, dont Raconte-moi les graphiques : L'histoire de William Playfair et
l'album illustré à succès Un porc-épic dans un sapin. Helaine
habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


HELAINE BECKER is the author of numerous of books of fiction and non-fiction for children, among them the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and its sequel, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, The Haunted House That Jack Built and Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner. Her books have won the Silver Birch Award and the CBA Libris Award and have been shortlisted for the Red Cedar, the Hackmatack and the Rocky Mountain awards. Helaine lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at

Helaine Becker's profile page


CLAUDIA DÁVILA a été directrice artistique des magazines Chirp et ChickaDEE, en plus d’être l’auteure-illustratrice de la série de bandes dessinées primées The Future According to Luz et de l’album Super Red Riding Hood. Elle a également illustré l’ouvrage percutant et multi récompensé Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War de Michel Chikwanine et Jessica Dee Humphreys, ainsi que Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book de Marthe Jocelyn et Richard Scrimger. Claudia est née à Santiago, au Chili, et vit maintenant à Toronto avec sa famille.


Claudia Dávila is the former art director of Chirp and chickaDEE magazines, and is the author-illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel series The Future According to Luz and the picture book Super Red Riding Hood. Claudia illustrated the powerful and multi-award-winning book Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys, Viminy Crowe's Comic Book by Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger and The Canadian Kids Guide to Outdoor Fun by Helaine Becker. Claudia was born in Santiago, Chile, and lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.

Claudia Dávila's profile page


  • Winner, Independent Publishers' Award, Juvenile and YA Non-fiction Category, Silver
  • Commended, Canadian Toy Testing Council, Recommended Books
  • Short-listed, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year, Juvenile Non-fiction Category

Editorial Reviews

Would I recommend this book? Yes, for all the practical, fun and useful tips that any kid could use.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

A book that could stay at home, but could just as easily go to camp or the cottage, and which provides a range of ages with fodder for conversation and not a few helpful hints about how to navigate life. …Readers will shut this book knowing how to thread a needle, sew a button, remove a band-aid more or less painlessly — there are three ways — make a wish and survive on a desert island.

The Globe and Mail

How did we ever survive without this book?... Writer Becker and illustrator Davila provide thoughtful and sensible (and wacky yet appropriate) instructions for…lots that can be applied directly to everyday life.

Hamilton Spectator

Helaine Becker's take on this lightweight format is genuinely intelligent and useful. Many of the topics covered in this book should help kids become more independent...[but] the book never sinks into earnestness. Becker is careful to leaven her text with some frivolous fun.

Quill & Quire

… a good introduction for kids navigating themselves through daily dangers, as well as a really interesting refresher course for adults… it’s readable and remarkable.

CD Syndicated

A friendly book meant to cue children in on 101 things they’ve ‘just gotta know.

New York Times

…bright and lively illustrations. It’s useful enough for parents to borrow.

Burnaby Now

Those who know me know I love sneaky learning – items that provide educational value without flaunting it. Like a Pro, with its unique ability to teach so many of those little things that we want our children to learn, but may not always think to cover, is sneaky learning at its best.

Eclectic Home School Online

colorfully illustrated, frenetically designed and written in short, sassy bites, Helaine Becker and Claudia Davila deliver a book that will capture and hold the curious minds of young readers.

The Telegram (St. John’s)

…instructs kids on 101 fun and useful things, whether they be at school, home or anywhere in between.

Publishers Weekly

A storehouse of interesting information is packed into this chatty little guide to doing some really cool things…. The instructions are easy to follow…. Some of the colorful cartoons are decorative but others help readers to visualize what they are supposed to do. A practical, fun read.

School Library Journal

… a wide range of useful knowledge packaged in a colorful and lighthearted way.

Canadian Children's Book News

Complete with simple illustrations and easy to follow instructions; this handy little guide will soon have readers accomplishing amazing feats, just like a pro.

Children's Literature Journal

Librarian Reviews

Like a Pro: 101 Simple Ways to do Really Important Stuff

Helaine Becker’s Boredom Blasters won the 2006 Silver Birch Award in the nonfiction category. Here she offers a wide range of useful knowledge packaged in a colourful and lighthearted way. Her list includes everything from threading a needle to setting a formal table to designing a website to interpreting what adults are saying (“How long have you been playing that video game?” really means “Turn it off, pronto!”). From serious (how to choose a pet) to fun (how to build a house of cards) to in-between (how to unstick a tongue that is frozen to a metal pole), Like a Pro is sure to entertain and inform.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2006. Vol.29 No. 3.

Other titles by Helaine Becker

Other titles by Claudia Dávila