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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!
About the Author
David Ezra Stein is the author-illustrator of Interrupting Chicken, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor. His previous books include Leaves, winner of an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. He lives in Kew Gardens, New York.
David Ezra Stein’s crayon art is playful and vivid.
—The New York Times
A playfully profound picture book that does its part in passing on good feelings.
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.
A series of kindly acts comes full circle in this heartwarming, yet never saccharine story from Stein. . . . Stein’s spreads are dense with colored pencil and crayon lines and crammed with visual information. . . . Night and day, light and shadow, groups of old and young people spending time together: it’s a satisfying portrait of the feast of life. Even youngest children will grasp the idea that good deeds and positivity beget more of the same.
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.
—School Library Journal
Salutary good humor and a series of related events are both reliable picture book patterns; their up-to-date transmission here, however, is particularly effective, as are Stein’s cheerfully energetic illustrations in pencil, water-soluble crayon, and watercolor. His main characters are scruffy and fascinatingly individual, his settings are exuberant with color and light, and both are sure to elicit smiles in any kind of weather.
—The Horn Book
Will nicely suit parents who hope to impart the value of pay-it-forward kindness to their children.
—Wall Street Journal
Teems with cheer and vigor, the illustrations bursting to the sides of each spread and rushing with color all around.
—Kirkus Reviews Children's blog
This book made me smile, it even made me get all misty-eyed from happiness, it darn well made me glad to be alive, and it made me want to stand on the corner and hand a copy to everyone I see.
—Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast