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Summary: Has your mother ever told you not to do something and you replied, "But it's just one _____!" She probably said "What if everybody did that?" This book envisions what would happen IF everyone "did that." From running your cart through the grocery store to feeding the bears to splashing at the pool... Things would be quite a mess! This is a picture book that asks kids to think about their actions.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 2.5
Age of Child: Read with two boys, ages 2 and 4.
Young Reader Reaction: My children related somewhat to this story, though not very well. I think they were a bit confused by what the illustrations were trying to show. They did get the point of some of the examples.
Adult Reader Reaction: I did not like this book partially because in each instance the boy was doing something he shouldn't the adult telling him to stop was scowling. Some of the things he was doing weren't that bad, such as rushing onto the field after a football game to get an autograph or splashing in the pool. Even though I agree they weren't things he should do, the reason for stopping wasn't "what if everybody did that?" For example: honking the horn in a car. That's obnoxious even if no one else does it. Do you really think that if everyone ran to one side of the school bus that the bus would tip over? I just thought that the examples were poorly chosen for my set of values and perceptions of the world.
That said, there were some xamples I agreed with: not throwing food to the bears, not littering on the side of the highway, or not speaking out loud when the teacher is reading a story.
Pros: The illustrations make this a fun way to SHOW kids how their ideas might play out if everyone made the same decision at the same time.
Cons: These are poorly chosen examples for this audience.
Borrow or Buy: Skip. I did not like this book, even to the point where I disagreed with the author's take on certain life situations. I had to skip over about half of the pages and changed the words on some of the other pages to make this book readable in my value system.
Educational Themes: The book has lots of potential for starting conversations about the choices we make and their impact on others. There are stronger examples, though.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, growing up, life lessons
Date(s) Reviewed: February 2012
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.