Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself

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Reassuring advice for every day of the year

From an esteemed husband-and-wife team comes a book of daily advice and insight. In dated entries meant to be read one per day, the Spinellis open with a brief quote from children’s literature, write a paragraph of lively advice inspired by that quote, and end with a “Today I will . . .” promise. The entries range from the broad (self-esteem, the environment, gratitude, and openmindedness) to the simple and specific (Today I will call ...

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Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself

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Overview

Reassuring advice for every day of the year

From an esteemed husband-and-wife team comes a book of daily advice and insight. In dated entries meant to be read one per day, the Spinellis open with a brief quote from children’s literature, write a paragraph of lively advice inspired by that quote, and end with a “Today I will . . .” promise. The entries range from the broad (self-esteem, the environment, gratitude, and openmindedness) to the simple and specific (Today I will call a grandparent . . . smile at a new kid . . . take a walk . . . and send a snail-mail letter.).

With wide appeal to fans of both children’s literature and advice books, this cozy page-a-day volume (with black-and-white spot art) offers inspiring quotes, gentle guidance, and 366 “Today I will . . .” promises to thoughtful readers everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This small and elegant gift book spotlights 366 quotations from children's books, one for each day of the year. The Spinellis use excerpts from works by such authors as Tomie dePaola, Donna Jo Napoli, Avi, Roald Dahl and Madeleine L'Engle as springboards to provoke contemplation and positive choices. For March 18, a line from Linda Trice's Kenya's World (“ 'What is that music?' Kenya asked. 'It's jazz,' Daddy said. 'Jaaaazz' ”) is followed by a suggestion to give “America's music” a try. While readers may find some sentiments corny (on giving: “Inside me is a miracle waiting to happen... I could give for a thousand years and never use up half of my heart”), the advice offered is genuine and inspiring. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
The popularity of daybooks and planners is translated into a version for children by a husband-and-wife team well-known individually for their works for children. The book has a one-page entry for each day of the year that consists of a quote from a children's book, an explanation of the quote and a promise readers can make to themselves. Some of the quotes are serious and some are not, but all have been chosen to inspire thought or action. Quoted authors include Kate DiCamillo, Norton Juster, Anne Frank, Marc Brown, and Louise Fitzhugh. Many are chosen with an eye towards the date. For example, the quotation from Bambert's Book of Missing Stories by Reinhardt Jung on the page for September 11th reads "The violence of major news events made him feel helpless." The explanation that follows tells readers than everyone feels helpless in the face of tragedies but that setting a peaceful example can be powerful when others follow the example of one person. Readers can use this book to inspire them and comfort them for many years. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In a departure from their usual works, the Spinellis turn their skills to inspiring readers with quotes and promises for every day of the year. There is a single-page entry for each day, and each one begins with a quote from children's literature. For example, the quote for November 4 is, "When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in," from Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. A quote for December 5 is from Dr. Seuss's The Lorax: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better." Anne Frank's birthday on June 12 is commemorated with a quote from The Diary of a Young Girl: "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." Each quote is followed by an explanatory note. Each note is then summarized into a short promise on which readers can reflect. For example, The Lorax entry tells readers to find one thing they care about and ask how they can make it better. The book covers a vast array of topics and themes, from serious to silly, and is inspiring and helpful. This is a book that that kids can dip into throughout the year.—Kristen Oravec, Flint Hill Middle School, Oakton, VA
Kirkus Reviews
The celebrated husband and wife team up to present a inspirational calendar book. Each page, for every day of the year (including Leap Day), includes a quote from a children's book, a short interpretation and finally an affirmation. A typical example, from November 26: A quote from Strider, by Beverly Cleary, "I admire Mom, even when she's mad at me, and I know she loves me," is followed by a brief commentary on weathering family disagreements, including, "Love is the key. Where love abides, anger is a passing visitor." The affirmation: "My parents love me. When I fight with them, that's easy to forget. Repeat: My parents love me." This format is effective in several different ways. The quotes from children's literature will ring familiar chords and may inspire some readers to seek original sources. The dates of the entries are unaccompanied by days of the week, so the calendar never becomes outdated. The advice is pithy and upbeat and addresses many issues that young teens encounter. Less useful for library collections, this would make an excellent gift. (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375840579
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli, Newbery Medalist, is the author of many award-winning books for young readers. Eileen Spinelli, author and poet, has published close to 50 books. You can learn more about them at www.jerryspinelli.com, www.randomhouse.com/features/jerryspinelli, and www.eileenspinelli.com.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Melanie Foust for TeensReadToo.com

    In TODAY I WILL, each day has a page dedicated to it, full of all kinds of things like being a good friend, following your dreams, the importance of taking responsibility for your own actions, and so much more. Each entry starts off with a quote from a book. Then comes a few sentences expounding upon the quote, showing how it could possibly apply to the reader's life.

    Each page also has an illustration of some sort. The illustrations were great!

    I think this book is perfect for older children and younger teens. Each day's page is short, quick, and to the point, making it easy to read, and only takes up a few minutes each day.

    It is an ideal book for anyone looking for a way to start every day right. TODAY I WILL would make a great gift.

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    Posted June 5, 2010

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