Review: How to Negotiate Everything

cover - How to Negotiate Everything - Lisa LutzI’m having trouble seeing ‘How to Negotiate Everything, by Lisa Lutz, as a children’s book. Don’t get me wrong, I love the book. However, it seems a bit ‘older’ than your typical children’s book. By that I mean the pictures and story – you can negotiate your way into our out of anything – seems aimed at an older crowd, perhaps high school and older.

I don’t have any children around to read this, so I’d like to know what children think of it. On the one hand it seems to me, children would like the idea of a child wanting an elephant. They might also like the idea of getting dessert even when they don’t eat their broccoli. On the other hand I don’t think the concept of negotiating for something really fits within the 32 pages of this book or within the repertoire of most children. Add to that the additional idea of setting a goal and working for it and this goes from being a book for children to being a book for adults.

The ‘picture’ part of “How to Negotiate Everything” is great. I especially like the turtle being walked on a leash. I think children will love the illustrations. This book is cute, sometimes it’s funny. However, even the illustrations lead me to the conclusion that this is really a book for adults. The child is dressed as a businessman; there is a bag of golf clubs in his room and a coat rack with umbrellas in it.

In the end I think this would make a great graduation gift, along the lines of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. The graduate should have an awareness of and the ability to negotiate in order to do well. Most employees don’t really know how to negotiate. When asking for a raise or promotion or even when applying for a job, they may know how and when to ask, but they should know how to strengthen their case through negotiation. Beyond that this book concludes offers a lesson in goal setting. The graduate should be prepared to set goals, plan, work hard, keep your eye on your goal, and be patient.

If you’re buying this for your child, don’t expect it to be one that will be pulled off the shelf again and again, at least not until your child is 18.

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