Because Amelia Smiled

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Author: David Ezra Stein

Grades: Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd

Synopsis: Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send a care package of 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 that started with Amelia’s smile make their way around the world, from a goodwill recital in Israel, to an impromptu rumba concert in Paris, to a long-awaited marriage proposal in Italy, to a knitted scarf for a beloved niece back in New York. Putting a unique spin on “what goes around comes around,” David Ezra Stein’s charmingly illustrated story reminds us that adding even a small dose of kindness into the world is sure to spur more and more kindness, which could eventually make its way back to you!

Debrief Questions:

  • What happened because Amelia smiled? Based on the story, do you think it’s easy or hard to make a difference in your community?
  • What is something simple you could do to help your own community?