From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 5—A nameless boy and his grandfather discuss the meaning of the Golden Rule, its universality, and ways to practice it. Grandfather points out that many religions and cultures, from Christianity to Hinduism to the Shawnee tribe, have their own variations, and he quotes six examples. The boy wonders what the world would be like if more people practiced the Rule, and Grandfather explains that "It begins with you." The rich, golden paintings and large format reinforce the importance of the topic. The cherubic boy and his old-fashioned grandfather gaze solemnly out of the pages, making eye contact with readers and inviting them into the discussion. Swirling patterns of animal shapes and symbols from various traditions are reminders that the topic is as abstract as the art, with much room for interpretation. This is less a story than a discussion starter, and teachers, parents, and religious leaders will welcome it as a clear introduction to an important subject. While there are more compelling examples throughout children's literature of characters practicing the Golden Rule, from Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess
to Chris Raschka's Yo! Yes?
(Scholastic, 1993), there are few titles that address the concept so directly.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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About the Author
Ilene Cooper has written many acclaimed childrens books, including Jewish Holidays All Year Round,
winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She is an editor for Booklist and lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Gabi Swiatkowska won the Ezra Jack Keats Best New Illustrator Award from the New York Public Library for her first book. This is her second book. She lives in New York City and travels often.