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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Not only will this book give kids a few ideas about how to deal with disappointment and the changes that come with growing up, but it also will teach them about the birds and shells that are found along the Florida seashore. Labeled pen and ink drawings in the first few pages are especially helpful.
When Alice confronts disappointment and change, she learns that it's important to keep promises, care for others and, even when it's not easy, take the high road when life gets a bit challenging.
Positive Role Models
Alice seems like a down-to-earth, real kid who feels jealousy, disappointment, and so on. But she works through those feelings, with the help of her very understanding parents. She makes responsible, caring choices, shows empathy and kindness toward others, and never completely loses sight of what is really important.
In one instance an older man yells "Oh, bloody hell!" when milk is spilled onto his pants, but otherwise the language is sweet, poetic, and innocent.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book is written by Kevin Henkes, who has won two Caldecott awards for his picture books and a Newbery Honor for Olive's Ocean. This is a gentle coming-of-age story dealing with the feelings many kids feel as they grow up, things change, adults age, and some families fall apart. It shows that kindness and empathy can go a long ways toward settling those uneasy times.
Is It Any Good?
This delicate, poetic book carries a solid punch of a message that is sure to dazzle readers of all ages. Award-winning author Kevin Henkes sees into the hearts of his characters and, without being heavy-handed, weaves a story brimming with feeling and kindness. With a nostalgic appreciation of the yearly family vacation at the seashore, he shows how hard it is when things change, when kids grow up, adults age, and some families fall apart. Pen and ink drawings of various shells fill the opening two pages, as well as beginning each chapter with an image that gives the reader an idea about what is coming next. And, the language, like the artwork, is expressive, warm, and beautifully written.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.