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Serendipity

Overview

...It's as wonderful and surprising as it sounds.

Serendipity is a book that is sometimes whimsical, sometimes touching, and always perfect for sharing.

A child ponders the pleasant results of serendipity, such as getting extra pieces from the gumball machine, having a peanut in your pocket when you meet a squirrel, or finding a five-dollar bill.

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Overview

...It's as wonderful and surprising as it sounds.

Serendipity is a book that is sometimes whimsical, sometimes touching, and always perfect for sharing.

A child ponders the pleasant results of serendipity, such as getting extra pieces from the gumball machine, having a peanut in your pocket when you meet a squirrel, or finding a five-dollar bill.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this extended definition of the title word, readers learn that serendipity can make a good day even better ("Serendipity is getting to the zoo just when it's feeding time for the seals") or it can be the saving grace for a kid in his darkest hour ("Serendipity is when you have to go to your grouchy Aunt Bea's house, and--guess what!--her dog, Banjo, just had puppies"). Occasionally Tobias (A World of Words) lapses into the mushy or the obvious ("Serendipity is meeting someone who's going to be your best friend forever"), but most of her examples include a nice twist ("Serendipity is when you find out you actually look better in glasses"). Reynolds (The North Star) provides sweet-natured and airy watercolor and ink cartoons. His palette, however, is distracting--he uses full color on some spreads and just one or two colors on others, apparently to highlight certain items (e.g., the eyeglasses that flatter the wearer are ruby in an otherwise violet composition). As pleasant as the book is on balance, there's not much depth; this is a slightly more sophisticated version of the old "Happiness" song from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
The title is a word children may enjoy rolling around in their mouths, "as wonderful and surprising as it sounds." The text offers many examples of serendipitous events, from getting three gumballs from the machine instead of one, and "all red," to snow during winter vacation, to seeing a rainbow. This can serve to help explain the dictionary definitions--"making fortunate and unexpected discoveries by accident," for example. Many happy kids are shown making such discoveries. Reynolds uses a simple cartoon style, with very few background details, with washes of color, sometimes naturalistically and at other times almost monochromatically for no discernable reason. 2000, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8, $12.00. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Exploring the meaning of the word with numerous childlike examples, Tobias suggests that "Serendipity is meeting a squirrel-and having a peanut in your pocket." She offers 16 other "definitions" and concludes that, "Serendipity is a word that, when you find out what it means, is as wonderful and surprising as it sounds." Reynolds's watercolor-and-ink cartoons capture the fun and festivity of circumstance. However, there is a bit of unevenness in the visual flow as the illustrator has chosen a restricted palette in some scenes and not in others. Also, some of the scenarios are allotted full-spread depictions while others require a turn of the page. Nevertheless, the choppy design will probably not distract readers, and teachers will undoubtedly use this picture book as a starting point for writing exercises.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tobias, who wrote the wondrous A World of Words (1998), disappoints in this one, which never actually defines the word with which it plays. Serendipity's derivation comes from the tale of the three princes of Serendip, who were always finding unexpected pleasures that they were not seeking. She doesn't mention any of that. Instead, Tobias defines by event: "Serendipity is getting to the zoo just when it's feeding time for the seals" or "Serendipity is when you find out you actually look better in glasses." One could argue with her choices, too—blowing out all your birthday candles and having your wish come true isn't exactly serendipity, is it? A cast of multiethnic folk with button eyes and snub noses smile through these pages, whose illustrations use two- and four-colors as well as full-color to engaging effect. Caution: may inspire crankiness in some wordsmiths. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689833731
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.84 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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