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Good Neighbor Nicholas

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Nicholas can't stand his next-door neighbor, Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson gets mad about everything. Dad explains that Mr. Robinson is probably grumpy because of some personal troubles. But Nicholas doesn't care, at least until he has a bad day of his own.

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Hardcover (1ST)
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Nicholas can't stand his next-door neighbor, Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson gets mad about everything. Dad explains that Mr. Robinson is probably grumpy because of some personal troubles. But Nicholas doesn't care, at least until he has a bad day of his own.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Part of "The Way I Act" book series from Albert Whitman & Company, this hardcover book addresses a common childhood challenge: getting along with others. The simple, straightforward story stars Nicholas, a young boy who lives next door to a very grumpy old man, Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson doesn't seem to cut Nicholas (or anyone else!) any slack when soccer balls accidentally land in his rose garden, or the music on the radio gets a little loud, or the family dog breaks free from the leash and runs into his yard. Mr. Robinson may be grumpy, but he has gotten Nicholas ANGRY. Nicholas' father tries to explain that sometimes older people who have aches and pains are sometimes grouchy. He asks Nicholas to try to understand his elderly neighbor, and to try to get along. But Nicholas still doesn't understand Mr. Robinson...until the day he himself has a bad pop quiz at school, a twisted ankle at recess, and no lunch money! By experiencing life from another person's perspective, Nicholas learns a few good lessons about why Mr. Robinson acts as he does, and how to be a good neighbor. Happily, Nicholas isn't the only one who learns a thing or two about understanding others, because Mr. Robinson responds to his kindness in surprising ways, too. The illustrations in this sturdy, hardcover book are contemporary and fresh; the text is set in an easy-to-read typestyle perfect for the beginning reader. A nice choice for home or library shelves!
School Library Journal

Gr 1–3
In the first title, Cristina is thrilled to learn that she can meet her favorite author until she realizes that his bookstore appearance is at the same time as her brother's Special Olympics track meet. She has been helping him train and promised to cheer him on at his big race. Her decision is rewarded with her brother's gratitude and an autographed copy of the newest book from the author in which he congratulates her for keeping promises. In Good Neighbor , Nicholas develops empathy for the old man next door. Mr. Robinson is a bit of a grouch, and even more so after his wife goes to a nursing home. Several incidents, including a soccer ball in a rosebush and a rambunctious puppy, widen the rift between the two neighbors, until the boy understands why the man is so unhappy and resolves to show him kindness. This changed behavior leads Mr. Robinson to recognize that he must also work on being kinder. Colorful cartoon illustrations reflect the positive tone in each book. Solid additions to collections looking for character-education materials. Both stories can be read independently or used as read-alouds in classroom settings.
—Maura BresnahanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The Way I Act series makes no bones about its mission: character development, with special emphasis on moments of understanding, of connecting the dots. In Kroll's easy, tactful story-illustrated by Cote with sympathetic clarity-that moment comes when empathy enters the stage. Young Nicholas has a crotchety neighbor, Mr. Robinson, who complains endlessly about Nicholas's dog, the loud music emanating from Nicholas's house and Nicholas's soccer ball trespassing in his garden. Nicholas's dad explains: Mr. Robinson is miserable because his wife is in a nursing home and a bad back keeps him in pain. Sadness plus pain can often equal grumpiness, he says. Nicholas experiences the equation in action when he sprains his ankle. Hurt ankle plus no soccer equals pain, and sadness equals a grumpy Nicholas. Voil . . . , a feeling of empathy washes over Nicholas and he begins to treat Mr. Robinson differently. Naturally, there's a reciprocal and the lesson is complete. A spoonful of sugar pleasantly offered. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807529980
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Series: The Way I Act Books
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.16 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Look for the good in people

    This book has a good message about turning a difficult situation with a neighbor into a win/win. I especially liked how the dad gently guided Nicholas away from the negative, not letting him get away with speaking badly about Mr. Robinson. A lesson for children and adults alike.

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