Author: Sharon Dennis Wyeth. Illustrator: Chris K. Soentpiet
Age Level: 3-7 years
Publishers: Dragonfly Books (Random House)
What makes something beautiful? This is a lovely book that shows children how we can find something positive to hold on to even when our lives are not perfect.
In this book, a little girl looks around her home and finds trash, broken bottles and the word “Die’ on her door. On the face of it there is not much a child can do to fix these complex problems.
She is downcast until she remembers her mother’s words that everyone should have something beautiful in their lives. Where is her something beautiful? Do the people in her life have something beautiful?
The little girl asks everyone and discovers that yes, they do have something beautiful. That ‘something’ is uniquely theirs because of what they do and how they view their lives. For Miss Delphine at Diner it is her fried fish sandwiches and for her friends it is their jump rope, or the beads in the hair. For others it is their ability to dance or play ball and for Mr. Sims, it is the smooth pebble he has had over the years.
In the end the little girl comes back home and looks around her with new eyes. She may not be able to change everything right away but she is not totally powerless. She cleans up the trash and erases the word Die!
When her mother comes home the little girl is reassured that she is her mother’s ‘something beautiful’.