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When No One is Watching Hardcover – February 7, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-The nameless protagonist in this picture book is a wallflower around other people, but alone, she blossoms with exuberant play and a vivid imagination. Quirky and endearing with her wild mop of black curls, pink high-tops, and struggle with shyness, she will appeal to readers who know what's budding inside them, but who aren't quite ready to open up. The illustrations alternately show the little girl's introverted behavior and her lone, free-spirited singing, dancing, stomping, and pretend-wrestling with wild animals. Spinelli's narrative is simple, lyrical, and written from the first-person perspective, giving the sense that the child is sharing her secrets with a trusted friend. She is accompanied throughout by a charming cat whose actions and expressions mirror her own-perfect, given the feline tendency to be reserved between bursts of energy. In the end, readers are introduced to the girl's shy friend, Loretta. They buoy one another when they are out and about, and they appreciate sharing quiet time, too. Johnson's illustrations are dynamic, done in a palette of earthy colors and filling the pages with likable faces and activity. This is a wonderful book for reassuring a quiet kiddo that she is special, and that the world will be happy to know her, too, when she is ready to introduce herself.-Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, ARα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this picture-book paean to being introverted, a shy mop top celebrates her discovery that it’s easy to shine at any endeavor when you’re not the focus of attention. When she’s alone, the little girl dances, shoots basketball hoops, and sings; but when people are around, she hides away. Luckily she has an equally shy friend, and together both can be exuberantly themselves: “Together Loretta and I / are cozy and comfy. / We’re no longer shy.” The book’s appeal is heightened by ink-and-watercolor illustrations capturing the child’s focus on herself in whatever situation she’s in. Against a gritty, marbled background in a variety of earth tones, her bright tunic and white-soled shoes always stand out. Meanwhile, the people she retreats from are limited to washed-out blues and tans. In most frames the child is accompanied by a slinky cat—the introvert’s pet of choice! Young wallflowers will see themselves in the familiar situations portrayed, and feel fortified by the notion there are others who think as they do. Preschool-Grade 2. --Karen Cruze
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 440L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 26 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (February 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080285303X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802853035
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Books That Heal Kids on March 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am an elementary school counselor and just started using this book with students.

Kids who struggle with shyness need books just like this one. Children can be helped when we set an optimistic tone for them. So I'm always looking for books reminding kids they are awesome the way they are. So how can I help shy kids? With a great new book by Eileen Spinelli - When No One is Watching. When students have a connection to a story it can open doors for them. Books can help release feelings of fear. This is a book that does that.
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Format: Hardcover
A girl talks about her being shy around others and how she is herself when no one is there. But when people are there, she hides, keeps to herself and doesn't want anyone to notice her. When she is alone, she is brave and she dances and she has a loud voice. The girl also tells us that with her friend (who is also shy) she feels more brave and less shy. Together the friends "don't care who's watching at all."

Why I liked this book - This is a great book about shyness by Eileen Spinelli, an amazing poet and author! The writing is musical and flows well. The message about being shy when people are watching is one a lot of kids (and I am thinking adults too) will like reading about. I also like the message about friendship and finding a person that can help you feel not so shy. I especially liked the rhyming and the rhythm of the story! I really like the illustrations, and the backgrounds chosen for each page. The artwork went well with the story. I think kids 4+ would absolutely LOVE this book like I did!
**NOTE I reviewed a copy of this book my sister got as a gift :D
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Format: Hardcover
This is a sweet story about a shy little girl who loves to do many things when others aren't looking. She likes to dance, growl and cheer, she even likes to play basketball and shoot the ball into the hoop. But when everyone is watching she hides behind the couch like a cat, she passes the basketball to her friend, and she won't sing but rather hum. This is a story about being shy and knowing that nothing is wrong with it at all. Written in rhyme with wonderful ink drawing illustrations with watercolor and some digital manipulation. You begin to fall in love with this little girl with the wild curly hair. I know I did.
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Format: Hardcover
How people behave around others may be completely different than how they are when they are by themselves or with someone who they feel very comfortable with. When No One Is Watching shows a girl who is shy, quiet, and feels better in the shadows. However, when she is alone or with her best friend she loves to sing, dance, and go for the winning shot in her solo game of basketball. Through the entire book I kept hoping she would tie her shoes; once a mom always a mom.
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