Because Amelia Smiled
Because Amelia Smiled
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Annotation: A little girl's smile as she skips down the street in New York inspires a neighbor to send cookies to her grandson in Mexico, and the good will soon spreads around the world and back.
Catalog Number: #5281928
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2012
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-4169-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-4169-6
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2011046622
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Young Amelia grins as she and her parents splash through a city street. "And because Amelia smiled," well, Mrs. Higgins, looking out her window, smiles, too. Happy, she sends cookies to her grandson teaching in Mexico, who shares them with his class. One of his students decides to teach dancing in the park, a video of it goes online, and a ballet club in England sees it and adds some new moves. They tour in Israel and . . . lots more happens after that until Amelia's smile comes full circle. Stein, who won a Caldecott Honor for Interrupting Chicken (2010), uses a quite different style here. Realistic, heavily colored, and intensely detailed, the illustrations invite children to look closely and see the way people across the globe are connected: the smiles, the pets, the music. Certainly, there's a lot to discuss here, and some adults may want kids to make connections with their own actions, but this is also just a lovely way to look at life.
Horn Book
It's pouring as Amelia runs down the street; her contagious rain-spattered grin prompts old Mrs. Higgins to bake cookies for her grandson in Mexico--and the good vibes voyage around the world, eventually coming back to Amelia herself. The up-to-date transmission of salutary good humor and a series of related events are effective, as are Stein's cheerfully energetic pencil, crayon, and watercolor illustrations.
Kirkus Reviews
Amelia's smile, brought on by a rain shower and seen by a neighborhood grandmother, catalyzes a cheery chain of happy consequences. The ripple of resultant good acts (the grandmother makes her grandson cookies, he teaches his class a song about cookies, one of his students then decides to become a teacher...) travels from New York to Mexico, England, Israel, Paris, Italy and finally back to New York. This streaming story, with its lively artwork and satisfying page turns, allows even young readers to see the interconnectedness of people, the effects of open-hearted deeds and the contagion of happiness. Indefatigable linework (in pencil, water soluble crayon and watercolor) encourages readers to explore every corner of the page, from every angle. Energy zigzags across the illustrations, showing each teeming locale, rendered jaggedly and joyfully. Such dizzying inclusion makes sense in a book about how we're inextricably bound together in this kooky world, but readers might feel adrift in these busy, sometimes murky pictures. There's little variation in color saturation and therefore no visual relief or fixed point of focus. Stein manages to expand and reduce the world at once, jumping across wide oceans, countries and continents while connecting the teeny-tiny lives of individuals. When the chain of smiles comes full circle, returning to Amelia and making her grin, readers smile too. A playfully profound picture book that does its part in passing on good feelings. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
A series of kindly acts comes full circle in this heartwarming, yet never saccharine story from Stein (Interrupting Chicken). -Because Amelia smiled, coming down the street... Mrs. Higgins smiled, too.
School Library Journal
Gr 2&11;4&12; Because Amelia smiles, Mrs. Higgins smiles as well. She thinks of her grandson in Mexico and decides to bake cookies for him. Lionel shares them with his class and teaches them a song, setting off a chain of events that spans the globe from the U.S. to Mexico to Europe and back. Stein's simple text reminds readers that what goes around comes around, and that the simplest of gestures can impact a multitude of people. Outstanding illustrations in bold, vintage Stein portray the busy streets of New York, a plaza in Mexico, a stage in Israel, an outdoor caf&3; in Paris, an oceanfront in Italy, and more, depicting how a simple smile brought happiness to many people all over the world. Dynamic blends of crayon and watercolor create an impressionistic scene that still conveys eye-catching detail. The visual elements will capture readers' attention, and the story offers valuable opportunities for discussion of how one person's actions can influence events far beyond their own surroundings.&12; C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/12)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (9/1/12)
Word Count: 367
Reading Level: 3.5
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 153759 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.6 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q59002
Lexile: AD820L

Just try not to smile! A positively inspiring picture book from the creator of the Caldecott Honor–winning Interrupting Chicken.

Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send a care package of cookies to her grandson Lionel in Mexico. The cookies give Lionel an idea, and his idea inspires a student, who in turn inspires a ballet troupe in England! And so the good feelings that started with Amelia’s smile make their way around the world, from a goodwill recital in Israel, to an impromptu rumba concert in Paris, to a long-awaited marriage proposal in Italy, to a knitted scarf for a beloved niece back in New York. Putting a unique spin on "what goes around comes around," David Ezra Stein’s charmingly illustrated story reminds us that adding even a small dose of kindness into the world is sure to spur more and more kindness, which could eventually make its way back to you!

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