Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Because Amelia Smiled

After a brief, unplanned 4-month hiatus... I'm back to blogging!  And my first post in my return has an incredible review and giveaway for you!  Read on to find out all about it!

Imagine my surprise as a package arrived for me one quiet afternoon and I opened it up to find this inside!  My first thought, was "What????  Why is sending me this for my vacation?"  The package arrived one week prior to my departure to South Carolina!  When I looked at the label and saw that the shipment was from Candlewick Press, I knew I must have signed up for some sort of blog tour and forgotten about it!  Sure enough, looking back at my emails, I signed up for the opportunity take part in the "Because Amelia Smiled" suitcase tour... 11 months ago!  It's no wonder I had forgotten all about this!!!

Anyway, I popped the latches on this fancy suitcase real quick, interested to see what was inside (since I clearly had no recollection of the tour)... and discovered two hardcover copies of "Because Amelia Smiled" and four different smile props!  As I began pawning through the book, I quickly discovered that the stickers on the outside of the suitcase were representative of the impact of Amelia's smile (how far/places where her smile ultimately traveled)!  How neat!

"Because Amelia Smiled" reminds me of a "pay it forward" - the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor and author, David Ezra Stein found a very clever way to instill this concept in the hearts of young children!

From the inside jacket cover: Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send some cookies to her grandson, Lionel... in Mexico.  The cookies give Lionel an idea, and his idea inspires a student, who in turn inspires a ballet troupe... in England!  And so the good feelings travel across the world, inspiring ever more smiles, kindness, and love along the way.
I absolutely love the story and the illustrations that go along with it!  They are so whimsical!  While it may be over the heads of many of my Head Start/UPK kids, I'm totally trying to use this book with them to inspire kindness amongst themselves and outside of the classroom, as well!  Hopefully it works.  The text is extremely simple, so with a bit of discussion and breaking down of things, I'm thinking they may be able to handle it!  Perhaps it might be more meaningful if I tie it into an activity in which we "give some smiles" to our neighbors at school - I'm sure I can think of something!!!

The folks at Candlewick Press Inc., have generously offered me a copy of this title so that I spread a smile of my own!  Keep reading for details on how to enter the giveaway!

To Enter the Giveaway
  1. Comment on this post, sharing with me how you intend to pass on a smile if you happen to be the lucky recipient of "Because Amelia Smiled" - ideas might be making a plate of cookies for a family member as Mrs. Higgins did for her grandson to sending a "smile" to a random address pulled from the phone book! Think of something your family would enjoy participating in!!!
  2. Be sure to leave an email address so I have a way to contact you if you are the winner! 
The giveaway is open to United States residents only.  You have until 11:59PM, EST on  Tuesday, August 5 to enter the giveaway.

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com. I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!