It can be difficult for children to persevere when the going gets tough. Telling them to "try, try again" or that "practice makes perfect" is good advice, but sometimes a story can get a message across in a way our own words don't seem to be able to. Tale of Two Sumos is a great story about a sumo wrestler named the "Italian Scallion" who has to go up against a very scary and big competitor, "Appollo Gourd." At first, Italian Scallion is training hard, but he isn't known for following through on what he sets out to do. All too soon, he gives up because "it's just too hard." When he sees himself through the eyes of his young friend Hadrian, however, the Scallion knows he has to return to his training. I won't tell you the ending, but the lesson of perseverance is there. As the book states, "He learned that God wants us to finish what we start even when it is hard to do. The Italian Scallion learned to persevere."
Come to think of it, that is a good lesson for us adults as well.