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Because Amelia Smiled Hardcover – September 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763641693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763641696
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper

Review

A playfully profound picture book that does its part in passing on good feelings.
—Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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The valuable storyline is well written.
Mom of two
Told in a circular style, where the ending leads back to the beginning, Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein is delightful fun.
NebraskaIcebergs
To think how far each one of us can reach!
Corinne H. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Nah, I can't make a difference!" Ever heard that? Ever said that? "Because Amelia Smiled" is a colorful, fanciful whirl around the world in the form of a children's picture book. But the story is powerful because it rings true. As a journalist covering cross-cultural issues for more than 30 years, I can tell you that this truly is the good way the world can work.

Over the past five years, I have recommended dozens of children's books, a good number of them from the talented crew at Candlewick Press who I like to single out for their commitment to this format in media and for their choice of books that celebrate diversity.

Anyone familiar with the power of children's books knows that they're not just for kids. They're for parents and grandparents, too. And they shape the children who later become parents and grandparents. Also new this fall is the latest book by one of the world's greatest philosophers studying the connections between world religions: Dr. Jacob Needleman's An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth opens by taking us way back to a favorite picture book for young readers that, to this day, still shapes his efforts to help save our planet.

The entire text of Because Amelia Smiled wouldn't fill a single page in a standard Word document. Yet this tale, which starts with the words "Because Amelia smiled, coming down the street ..." carries us completely around the world and back home again. While Amelia is fiction, the chain of events are as true as countless real-life stories unfolding right now.

Do yourself a huge favor this week! Think of a child with whom you could enjoy this book. Order a copy and, then, simply ... smile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This picture book is a wonderful international embodiment of "the ripple effect:" What you do affects me; what I do affects you. It offers a universal lesson to not take casual encounters for granted.

"Because Amelia smiled, coming down the street, Mrs. Higgins smiled, too." The story begins simply enough. Then the next action causes another one to happen. And so on, and so on, passing from one individual to the next, and influencing average people at various locations around the world. Adult readers will probably predict where the storyline will lead; but to the young, the ending may come as a complete surprise and revelation. To think how far each one of us can reach! And to indeed be part of a global, connected community!

There's a lot to see in the illustrations, and children should enjoy pointing out the items and activities they recognize. As mentioned, the text holds a valuable message for readers of all ages. Author/illustrator David Ezra Stein even foreshadows it in his opening dedication: "To you: Pass it on!" I cannot think of anyone who would not benefit from sitting down for a few minutes with this book. Its premise and ramifications will stay with you for a good long while, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on February 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book!! We purchased it for use in a classroom library and for our daugher, Amelia. :) Gives examples of how something small (like a smile) can have an impact on others.
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By Gid's Mom on July 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my daughter who has the same name in the title and I was hoping it would be a really cute story to encourage her to always smile and pass on happiness to others. I thought the story could have been written so much better. It was lacking quite a bit in my opinion and didn't engage my daughter at all. I think we read it once and now it sits collecting dust on the bookshelf.
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By Catherine Donchatz on October 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the book because of the concept - the domino effect of doing good. But I don't think a child will be able to track the random, un-relatable events and come to the conclusion that good deeds beget good deeds. If I have to explain the "lesson", the book failed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful book that I'll give to her in a year or two...the illustrations are wonderful and full of potential vocabulary building.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The valuable storyline is well written. A wonderful reminder that we as humans are all connected to one another and one person, of any age, can make a difference.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My grandchildren (2 and 5) love this book--and I enjoy reading it to them!

Amelia's smile goes around the world in darling pictures.
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