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THE BIGGEST AND BRIGHTEST LIGHT: A TRUE STORY OF THE HEART

Author: Marilyn Perlyn

Illustrator: Amanda Perlyn

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Publisher: Robert D. Reed Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Six-year-old Amanda Perlyn loved school, and she especially loved her teacher, Dr. Malko. When Amanda learned that Dr. Malko's daughter was sick and her son lived far away, she decided to find ways to help her teacher and her family. This is a picture-book version of a true-life story about a child philantrhopist.

Type of Reading: family reading, bedtime story, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Age of Child: Read with 4-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler asked for this book several times over the course of three weeks. Although s/he would listen to the whole story, what drew the most curiosity was learning about Dr. Malko's ill daughter and her death.

Adult Reader Reaction: This story will warm your heart. We probably should have prescreened the book so we could have anticipated the questions about hospitals and death.

Pros: The story offers something for everyone in the target audience range. Young listeners will understand and become interested in Amanda's efforts; older listeners/readers may be inspired to do something philanthropic themselves.

Cons: Be prepared to talk about death. Although it really isn't a key theme of the book, it is something that drew our child's attention and would likely draw others' too.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an inspirational story that offers children lessons on how little things can make a big difference in the world.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ALEX AND THE AMAZING LEMONADE STAND   THE GIVING BOOK: OPEN THE DOOR TO A LIFETIME OF GIVING   HATTIE, GET A HAIRCUT!

Educational Themes: This is a story that offers kids an introduction to the value of lifelong service, helping them recognize that even simple things can have great impact.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, philanthropy

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2006

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