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30 Reviews
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Story about Honesty and Hard Work
Let me begin by saying that I am a big fan of Eve Bunting and admire her for writing about people who otherwise receive little attention in stories. "A Day's Work" is worthy of that reputation. It is a story of day laborers from Mexico; moreover, it describes how the whole family pulls together to make ends meet (a theme that Francisco Jimenez beautifully explores in...
Published on August 24, 2002 by Daniel L. Berek

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reinforces negative stereotypes
This book is not a good multicultural book. In the content of this book, children see Mexican Americans waiting for work, scrambling for work, lying to get work, pushing others out of the way to get work, working close to an area of high-priced homes, working hard and making a serious mistake, being scolded by their employer, feeling shamed, dismayed, and at fault for a...
Published 23 months ago by Claudia


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Story about Honesty and Hard Work, August 24, 2002
By 
Daniel L. Berek (Flanders, NJ, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
Let me begin by saying that I am a big fan of Eve Bunting and admire her for writing about people who otherwise receive little attention in stories. "A Day's Work" is worthy of that reputation. It is a story of day laborers from Mexico; moreover, it describes how the whole family pulls together to make ends meet (a theme that Francisco Jimenez beautifully explores in "The Circuit/Cajas de Carton). Though it's a simple story, there are several surprise twists. As with her other stories, Eve Bunting tells this one with her characteristic sensitivity without indulging in, you know, the mushy stuff. This book will enable children and adults alike to take a new look at honesty and, as the title says, a day's work.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book!, December 27, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
This story describes an American lifestyle that most of us will not experience. It avoids criticism of that life and presents a situation in which honest people are trying to survive. The author provides a human face to the characters. Very nice.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We need more books like this one for kids today (& adults!), October 8, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
"A Day's Work" is wonderfully engaging and a beautifully illustrated work. It is so rare to find a children's book today which integrates moral truth so seamlessly into a believable and thought-provoking story. We will never be without this book on our bookshelf to read to each child as he comes to the age of reasoning! A MUST HAVE for any family who values teaching their children at an early age about honesty & accountability.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for your multicultural collection, December 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
Beautifully illustrated, this heart-warming story is an excellent real-aloud for grades 2-5. Many themes in the book include honesty, hard-work is rewarded and family. I love the fact that no stereo-type Hispanic characters are in the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautifully Moving, Compassionate Glimpse into a Day Laborer's World, July 17, 2010
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This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
On Saturday morning, young Francisco waits with his abuelo (grandfather) with other day laborers, hoping for a day's work. In order to persuade a potential employer to choose them, Francisco claims his grandfather is a gardener, even though he is actually a carpenter. It is only at the end of the day that the lie is found out. Then Abuelo shows Francisco the value of integrity, admonishing, "We do not lie for work," and taking steps to make restitution.

Bunting's understated text, written from the child's perspective, expresses the raw desperation that the most poverty-stricken people experience daily, helping the reader understand why Francisco would tell such a lie. But his grandfather's personal honor proves that, regardless of circumstances, even the lowest labor carries dignity and worth when it is carried out with self-respect.

This is a serious story, and even illustrated with Himler's wonderful paintings it retains a somber mood that might not draw readers in as easily as more lighthearted books. But it provides a vital, sympathetic glimpse into the world of immigrant day laborers while demonstrating the moral importance of honesty. It's a beautifully moving book which will help cultivate love and compassion for others.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reinforces negative stereotypes, January 7, 2013
This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
This book is not a good multicultural book. In the content of this book, children see Mexican Americans waiting for work, scrambling for work, lying to get work, pushing others out of the way to get work, working close to an area of high-priced homes, working hard and making a serious mistake, being scolded by their employer, feeling shamed, dismayed, and at fault for a mistake, seeking to correct a mistake, facing the actions of the mistake, thereby winning the employer's respect (which they didn't have until this point).
The illustrations have a kind of gravity that sometimes hints at threats or overwhelming situations.
As far as cultural markers, it integrates few Spanish words, refers to two specific foods (and tortillas are so mainstream they are not "new" ethnic material).
Eve Bunting is an outsider to Mexican-American culture as is the illustrator, Ronald Himler.
This book strengthens cultural stereotypes of Mexican-Americans, and hurts multiculturalism.
Check Johnson 2012 "The Joy of Children's Literature" Chapter 11 for a full explanation.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! It's worthy, February 8, 2006
This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
This book has touched me very much. I have read it three times and I bought the book. I think this book is a must in every classroom and in every house. It powerful describes how people struggle with the daily paid, not only in the US but in the world and it also teachers about important vales as family values and honesty. A beautiful book for all ages.

I give five stars for this book. I loved the way the author gives a glimpse about the immigrants in this country and the powerful values they have and can share to this country. I also love the illustrations very much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book For Multi-cultural Learning & Integrity, December 4, 2008
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This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
"A Day's Work" is a beautiful tale about the difficult life of a migrant worker. My mom is a 2nd grade teacher and book reviewer for her district and our favorite past time is reading children's books together. She read this one to me and I was in tears! It is such a beautiful story about integrity and character. You will love this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Faces to Issues, March 15, 2009
This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
Putting faces to issues. It's something Eve Bunting does so well. It's easy to take a broad stance when you can't connect a face, or a need, or generations of a hard working family to an issue. Eve Bunting pushes back against the stereotypes of day laborers in this book and brings to the subject dignity, the value of hard work, some tough choices, and a few valuable lessons. Kids don't need easy stereotypes, especially as they try to navigate their sense of right and wrong through an ever changing world. They are always in need of something more authentic. That's Eve Bunting. Kids need Eve Bunting.

Chris Bowen
Author of, "Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom"
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a day's work by Jonathan C, March 23, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: A Day's Work (Paperback)
A Day's Work

Calling all gardening lovers, you should read this book by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler. The characters of the book are a little boy

named Francisco, Francisco's Abuelo, and Ben the

gardening worker. When Abuelo wants a job, he

goes to a parking lot where there are trucks that

pick up workers. When a gardening person comes,

Francisco lies saying that his Abuelo is a great

gardener but he is not. So Abuelo gets a job as a

gardener in a field and something goes wrong.

I like this book because it is telling you to never

give up. I think Francisco learned not to lie. I

recommend this book to someone who likes

gardening.

Jonathan C
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A Day's Work
A Day's Work by Eve Bunting (Paperback - April 14, 1997)
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