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The Nice Book Hardcover – October 16, 2008

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS—This charming book describes what it means "to be nice" through single words or simple phrases and expressive illustrations of animals created out of swirled acrylic paint, ink, and china markers. Laid out on solid-color backgrounds, the text appears in a variety of fonts and hues. Two blue koalas embrace atop a large, orange "cuddle." Two chicks "nestle" in the grass. For the word "LOOK," two owls gaze at each other; "…but don't stare" on the opposite page shows a green frog gawking at a red bird. Some of the words demonstrate and others remonstrate. Taken together, they allow children to grasp what adults mean when they say, "Be nice." A useful item for all picture-book collections.—Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH
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From Booklist

In the simplest of formats, with just a few words of text, various animals placed against blank backgrounds demonstrate what it means to be nice—koalas “cuddle,” chicks “nestle,” and horses “nuzzle.” Other animals illustrate how to be gentle: “Squeeze . . . not too hard!” and “Pat . . . but don’t stomp flat!” are paired with monkeys hugging and an elephant patting a cat, respectively. The narrators then move to anger management: “When you get in a snit, Don’t hit—say how you feel. Take time.” Reminiscent of the style and design of many of Chris Raschka’s books, especially his Thingy Things series, abstract brush strokes create the bodies of the animals with facial features drawn in black lines to give them definition. The backgrounds, which are blank in most cases, are brightly colored or stark white. The endpages modify the concept with continuous sets of alliterative words that run off each edge of the pages, like “lovable lemurs” and “hospitable hogs.” Enjoyable, informative, and just plain nice. Preschool-Grade 2. --Randall Enos

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399250506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399250507
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hwm1 on January 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This sweet book will get the kids talking about what's nice...and what isn't.

Case in point. Middle child was reading THE NICE BOOK and youngest reached over to grab it. Middle child whisked the book away and was ready to smack little one with it. Little one ran off, put her hands at her waist and said, "That's not nice!" Middle one hestitated. "I know." She looked at the book, looked at her sister and sat down on the rug. "Come sit here and I'll read the book to you."

If that's not nice, I don't know what is. Go get the book!
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Format: Hardcover
If you can't be nice, don't say anything at all. Now unless you live on Mars, you've heard that many times. David Ezra Stein has learned that lesson well and is passing on a bit of love and "nice" in this lovely, beautiful and compassionate book. Each page offers up a small, positive message to impart to the young child. Many are single words accompanied by bold watercolor critters, but the message is quite clear.

For example, two raccoons are shown together and one is giving the other a gentle "PAT." On the following page there is a big, bold elephant getting ready to pat a racoon . . . "BUT DON'T STOMP FLAT!" Along a similar line a boar is going to have himself a nice ice cream sundae with three cherries on the top. "If you have more than you need, SHARE." And he does just that with a little mouse. Mmmmmm!

I loved this "nice" little book. It was simple, yet quite complicated at the same time. It's the just the type of book you need when your little one is feeling a bit out of sorts with the world and could use a little loving. The words on the page can be translated into action. "CUDDLE . . . Love was meant to be passed on." Now isn't that the truth?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Gail Illumanardi on June 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first saw this book while traveling in an airport window, and came home to track it down for my grandson. My 15 month old grandson surprisingly loves it! The simple, child-like drawings and paintings are charming, and Jack loves the language. His favorite line is "Pat! Don't stomp flat!" That page causes him to pause for a second and pat the top of his head, followed by stomping one foot. He asks for the book repeatedly. A great find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Strickenburg on November 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love settling down with my 14 month old son on my lap and "acting out" this book while I read it aloud to him: "Cuddle, nestle, nuzzle, don't tickle...well, maybe a little." Each page contains a word or phrase about how to treat others, accompanied by delightful artwork.

This book has a wonderful "look." The illustrations are bold and messy - almost in the style of children's finger painting - but the motion and emotion they portray are captivating. Bright colors and simple backgrounds make it easy for even young children to see. The look of the text is creative and artistic too: the size and font of the text change depending on what's being said.

The best part of this book is that it's not condescending. So many books about how to treat others "talk down" to children and seem very demeaning. This book conveys its message in a sweet and positive way, and it's truly a delight to read: "When you get in a snit, don't hit - say how you feel. Take time, get away, hear what someone has to say."
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Interrupting Chicken was my 3-year-old granddaughter's favorite book, so I figured she might also like this one by the same author. She does, but what was also a pleasant surprise was how much her parents like it. It's a much quicker read than Interrupting Chicken, so if it becomes a new favorite, the inevitable read-overs won't take so long, which could be another point in this book's favor. I give it only four instead of five stars, myself, though, because dramatic flair is lacking. I think this book is better for a younger child - which is good for our family since we have a younger one, too.
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