This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.
Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.
* "This quiet, intense picture book is about the small actions that can haunt. . . . Woodson's spare, eloquent free verse and Lewis' beautiful, spacious watercolor paintings tell a story for young kids that will touch all ages."
(Booklist, starred review)
"Unfolds with harsh beauty and the ominousness of opportunities lost. . . . The matter-of-fact tone of Chloe's narration paired against the illustrations' visual isolation of Maya creates its own tension. . . . Lewis dazzles with frame-worthy illustrations, masterful use of light guiding readers' emotional responses."
* “Always on-target navigating difficulties in human relationships, Woodson teams up with Lewis to deal a blow to the pervasive practice–among students of all economic backgrounds–of excluding those less fortunate. . . . Lyrical and stylistically tight writing act in perfect counterpoint to the gentle but detailed watercolor paintings. . . . Gives opportunity for countless inferences and deep discussion . . . invite[s] readers to pause, reflect, and empathize. . . . With growing income disparity, and bullying on the rise, this story of remorse and lost opportunity arrives none too soon.”
(School Library Journal, starred review)
* “Combining realism with shimmering impressionistic washes of color, Lewis turns readers into witnesses as kindness hangs in the balance. . . . Woodson . . . again brings an unsparing lyricism to a difficult topic.”
(Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“Woodson’s fluid writing and deft particularity makes the girls’ bullying rebuffs of Maya absolutely heartbreaking. . . . In his watercolors, Lewis embraces the effects of light like an Impressionist, while his creative, often cinematic uses of point of view add resonance to the story. . . . Offers an alternative view to rosier stories of forgiveness and bully-victim friendships.”
(The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
“Beautifully heartbreaking . . . sure to touch a tender spot. . . . The situation should resonate with young people who are sure to recognize themselves in either Chloe or Maya. Lovely watercolors perfectly complement this simple yet strong story.”
(Library Media Connection)
“Woodson’s affecting story, with its open ending, focuses on the withholding of friendship rather than outright bullying, and Lewis reflects the pensive mood in sober watercolors . . . in subtly detailed portraits. . . . A good conversation starter.”