Something Beautiful

( 7 )

Overview

A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. Her neighbors tell her about their own beautiful things. Miss Delphine serves her a “beautiful” fried fish sandwich at her diner. At Mr. Lee’s “beautiful” fruit store, he offers her an apple. Old Mr. Sims invites her to touch a smooth stone he always carries. ...

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Overview

A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. Her neighbors tell her about their own beautiful things. Miss Delphine serves her a “beautiful” fried fish sandwich at her diner. At Mr. Lee’s “beautiful” fruit store, he offers her an apple. Old Mr. Sims invites her to touch a smooth stone he always carries. Beautiful means “something that when you have it, your heart is happy,” the girl thinks. Her search for “something beautiful” leaves her feeling much happier. She has experienced the beauty of friendship and the power of hope.

When she goes looking for "something beautiful" in her city neighborhood, a young girl finds beauty in many different forms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This moving picture book offers a shining testament to the ability of human beings to find ‘something beautiful’ in even the most unlikely places.”—Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly
In PW's words, "This moving picture book offers a shining testament to the ability of human beings to find `something beautiful' in even the most unlikely places." All ages. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This moving picture book offers a shining testament to the ability of human beings to find "something beautiful" in even the most unlikely places. An African American girl initially sees only the ugliness of her neighborhood. There is "trash in the courtyard and a broken bottle that looks like fallen stars." On her front door, someone has scrawled the word "DIE," and a homeless lady "sleeps on the sidewalk, wrapped in plastic." Searching for something beautiful--"something that when you have it, your heart is happy"--she polls various neighbors. For an old man it is the touch of a smooth stone; for Miss Delphine, it's the taste of the fried fish sandwich in her diner; for Aunt Carolyn, it's the sound of her baby's laugh. When the girl decides to create her own "something beautiful," she picks up the trash, scrubs her door clean and realizes, "I feel powerful." Wyeth's (Always My Dad) restrained text is thoughtful without being didactic. She creates a city landscape that is neither too dark nor too sweet; and her ending is just right, with the heroine's mother saying that her daughter is her "something beautiful." Soentpiet's (Peacebound Trains) paintings are luminously lifelike. Whether depicting the girl running past a chain-link fence in a dark alley or Miss Delphine's patrons sitting beneath the rows of glinting glasses, the paintings focus on a community with characters so real, readers can almost feel the sunlight on their faces. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Dennette Michaels
Saddened by the ugliness of her inner-city apartment building and neighborhood, Wyeth's unnamed protagonist finds inspiration in her teacher's writing of the word 'beautiful' on the blackboard. "The teacher taught me the word b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l ...I think it means that, when you have it, your heart is happy." As she walks home from school, pondering the connection between 'beautiful' and a happy heart, neighbors share their own happy things with her-apples, a jump rope, beads, a sizzling fish sandwich, and a smooth pocket stone. Her experience of the beauty of friendship and the power of hope inspire her to positive action. She scrubs the offending graffiti from her front door and sweeps away the broken glass in the yard. Then-"I feel powerful". When her mother comes home from work, the girl asks, "Do you have something beautiful? Of course, I have you!" A believable piece of inspirational writing set within luminous paintings that celebrate the human spirit.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440412106
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 176,347
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.81 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Before becoming an author of children's books, Sharon Dennis Wyeth went through many different career changes. Her first job after graduating from Radcliffe College was as a family counselor at a day-care center in New York City. She then went on to become an actress, producer, and playwright—and, at one time, owner of her own off-off-Broadway theater. She was also a writer for daytime television, a voice teacher, and a Public Speaking Consultant. She has been a children's book author since 1985.

Sharon Dennis Wyeth lives in Montclair, New Jersey, where she enjoys singing, hiking, cooking, and gardening.

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Read an Excerpt

When I look through my window, I see a brick wall.  There is trash in the courtyard and a broken bottle that looks like fallen stars.

There is writing in the halls of my building.  On the front door, someone wrote the word Die.

The teacher taught me the word in school.  I wrote it in my book. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.  Beautiful!  I think it means something that when you have it, your heart is happy.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Absolutely Beautiful Storytelling

    This is my absolute favorite children's book! This story warms your heart as you read or hear it. It makes you reflect on your ideas of beauty and it leaves you in a state of appreciation for what we often take for granted. When I read this story to children I invite them to bring in their "Something Beautiful" on my next visit. The stories I could tell... I have also read it as part of a memorial to an adult audience who found great cause to reflect on the beauty of the life being recognized as well as their own. You will never regret buying this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2009

    Great Story

    Something Beautiful is an amazing book and a great story. This read was read to k-3rd grades and the children just loved the book. Great lesson about finding something beautiful in everything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2004

    Something Beautiful is beautiful

    This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. Every young child should be exposed to this book, and it should be a staple in every classroom in this country.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2003

    Divinely Delicious

    I had the pleasure of reading the divine book Something Beautiful. The text and illustrations are sublime. I felt a combination of misty, chills, and thrills when I completed the book. I didn't want it to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2000

    Touching Story, Teachable Moments

    The young, African American girl in this story is a strong character. She lives amongst poverty and ugliness, yet she is determined to find something beautiful. When she cleans up the graffiti and trash around her door, she says she feels powerful. Her journey and exploration make the reader feel powerful, too. Sontpiet's illustrations make the pages come alive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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