From School Library Journal
Grade 1–3—How does a seven-year-old who has not yet mastered whistling achieve world peace? He begins with the easy stuff and works his way up. First, Paulie starts "being kind to small animals. Then bigger animals. And bigger. And bigger still." Then he apologizes to his sister. At school, he is nice to everyone, even the principal, and hands out cupcakes to help resolve conflicts. Having established peace at home and at school, he is ready to expand his horizons. With the help of his family he goes on a "world tour" around town with a van full of cupcakes to distribute to appreciative crowds. Although world peace is a serious issue, Proimos's tongue-in-cheek approach makes the "can do" message fun and child friendly. The text is short and snappy with only one or two sentences on most pages. The simple cartoon drawings, filled in with color, have attitude and personality that matches the tone of the text. Creative page layouts and artsy fonts give the illustrations added energy. This is a great read-aloud, especially for a unit about social issues or character development.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In spare, droll text and pictures that evoke Jules Feiffer’s work, this title offers an amusing look at compassion and the power of cupcakes. Young Paulie is “nothing special . . . no more special than you are,” but things change after he begins to connect with the natural world, showing kindness to animals and even “reading to trees.” Soon, Paulie moves on to people, making amends with his sister and sharing his lunch with a classmate; and when he discovers that cupcakes can resolve disputes, his peace-making ambitions grow. Together with his dad, he visits nearby businesses that have globally-themed names (Furniture World, Toy World), bringing “cupcakes and peace to all,” until he finally heads home for some well-deserved sleep. The peppy, colorful cartoon art incorporates witty, sometimes hyperbolic details. Some kids may miss the tongue-in-cheek, punny plays on world peace, but the positive story conveys how small, individual actions can have a large, ripple effect. Wry, sweet inspiration for spreading goodwill. Grades K-3. --Shelle Rosenfeld