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Each Kindness (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards)) Hardcover – Picture Book, October 2, 2012
"There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider" by Jennifer Ward
From the creators of the bestselling There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog comes a spooky rendition of the popular “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” song. | Learn more
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From the Publisher
From School Library Journal
"Unfolds with harsh beauty and the ominousness of opportunities lost. . . . The matter-of-fact tone of Chloe's narration paired against the illustrations' visual isolation of Maya creates its own tension. . . . Lewis dazzles with frame-worthy illustrations, masterful use of light guiding readers' emotional responses." — Kirkus Reviews
* “Always on-target navigating difficulties in human relationships, Woodson teams up with Lewis to deal a blow to the pervasive practice–among students of all economic backgrounds–of excluding those less fortunate. . . . Lyrical and stylistically tight writing act in perfect counterpoint to the gentle but detailed watercolor paintings. . . . Gives opportunity for countless inferences and deep discussion . . . invite[s] readers to pause, reflect, and empathize. . . . With growing income disparity, and bullying on the rise, this story of remorse and lost opportunity arrives none too soon.” — School Library Journal, starred review
* “Combining realism with shimmering impressionistic washes of color, Lewis turns readers into witnesses as kindness hangs in the balance. . . . Woodson . . . again brings an unsparing lyricism to a difficult topic.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Woodson’s fluid writing and deft particularity makes the girls’ bullying rebuffs of Maya absolutely heartbreaking. . . . In his watercolors, Lewis embraces the effects of light like an Impressionist, while his creative, often cinematic uses of point of view add resonance to the story. . . . Offers an alternative view to rosier stories of forgiveness and bully-victim friendships.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Beautifully heartbreaking . . . sure to touch a tender spot. . . . The situation should resonate with young people who are sure to recognize themselves in either Chloe or Maya. Lovely watercolors perfectly complement this simple yet strong story.” — Library Media Connection
“Woodson’s affecting story, with its open ending, focuses on the withholding of friendship rather than outright bullying, and Lewis reflects the pensive mood in sober watercolors . . . in subtly detailed portraits. . . . A good conversation starter.” — The Horn Book
- Lexile Measure : AD530L
- Grade Level : Kindergarten - 3
- Item Weight : 1.02 pounds
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399246525
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399246524
- Product Dimensions : 8.88 x 0.36 x 11.25 inches
- Reading level : 5 - 8 years
- Publisher : Nancy Paulsen Books; Illustrated Edition (October 2, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One might think this replays the classic story line of the challenge that every "new" kid faces. But it is exceeds that think-how-the-shunned-kid-feels meme as the children rebuff her repeated efforts to break into their circle. Instead, it asks the reader to imagine being the child who chose unkindness, who joined the taunting, who derided and jeered.
After the teacher uses a pebble-dropped-in-water to demonstrate how one act ripples in an ever-widening circle, Chloe undergoes a change of heart. She wants to include the outcast girl. She anticipates making amends, only to discover, it is too late.
The book ends with the words, Chloe "watched the water ripple as the sun set through the maples and the chance of a kindness with Maya became more and more forever gone." The final illustration shows Chloe in a lush, lovely pond side spot. The beauty contrasts with Chloe's uncomfortable realization that it is too late to make amends for her ugly treatment of Maya. The reader feels the weight of that understanding. There is no and-she became-Maya's-best-friend easy answer.
The message is clear. Sometimes, do overs are not possible. Some mistakes and lost opportunities cannot be corrected. Our choices matter. Powerful. True. Important. This book merits every award it won.
(Memories of the classic story The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes illustrated by Louis Slobodkin popped to mind, because it deals with a similar story line. Each Kindness makes its point with eloquent brevity and contemporary, visually appealing illustrations.)
Adoption-attuned (AQ) Lens: Our kids certainly understand, in a very personal way that choices have permanent consequences. This book can easily open conversations about the decisions made by their birth parents. (Not in terms of a cruelty done to them but with an intent to help kids understand that adoption was in no way their fault but rather is a decision made by adults for very adult reasons.)
This is a powerful story PACKED FULL of life lessons. A new student Maya is treated horribly by her classmates. She tries making friends with the other students but is rejected and becomes a target because of her economic status. Students will feel sadness as you read this story - because they will be filled with an overwhelming empathy for Maya. In the end, we never know the full damage that may have been caused to Maya because she moves. We can surely guess though. However, it's Chloe who teaches us the lesson. She had shunned Maya but is filled with guilt, remorse, and emotional pain as she becomes aware of her own hurtful behavior. She is never able to make amends. I cannot wait for the discussion this will create. If we can teach our children to live their lives in complete kindness - hopefully they will not have to learn this lesson the hard way.
When my kids finished this book they said, "this book is not kind." Typically I read a book before reading to my children but unfortunately I did not this time. Had I read it first I would have never read it to them. I cringed as I kept reading.
This book is supposed to help teach kindness but all it teaches is bullying. The young girl in the book is constantly being bullied and never ONCE in the book did any kid do something "kind" for her. If you want to teach your kids how to be a bully, tease and pick on kids then this is the book for you.
Top reviews from other countries
I brought this book over a recommendations and love it. The illustration by E.B. Lewis are exceptional.
A simple message of, sometimes a second chance is never there! which is depicted clearly, where on all other heroic movies/children's book there is always a happy ending with second chances and No mistakes.
But to be aware of the opportunities and the choices we make matter and once lost there is no turning back to correct it, is a huge takeaway from this book. Which is very true and is much needed.