Imagine what might happen if everybody broke the rules!
Children's Literature - Debby WillettWhy can I not feed a bear popcorn at the zoo? Why can I not race the grocery cart in the store? Why can I not throw a soda can out of a car window? Those are just some of the things a child is challenged with in this book, What If Everybody Did That? Talking in the library, not hanging up his coat on the hook, not throwing snowballs are things that could become problems if everyone did what this child did. Children need to learn the consequences of their actions while they are still young. Examples of many behaviors children might find silly are found in this book, with adult responses. The illustrations are endearing to the text and children should find the story fun. It is a book that children will want to pick up and read just to look at the illustrations and then relate with the text. As a trained reading specialist, I would recommend this book for every home, municipal, and school library. Reviewer: Debby Willett
School Library JournalK-Gr 2—An unnamed boy is forced to consider the consequences of his actions in this cautionary tale about making responsible choices. The narrator commits a series of seemingly minor offenses, such as feeding popcorn to the bears in the zoo, throwing an empty soda can out the car window, sneaking a lick of frosting from a wedding cake, and interrupting the librarian during storytime. Each time, an angry adult admonishes him by asking, "What if everybody did that?" causing him to envision the possible outcomes: sick animals, garbage strewn along the highway, a ruined cake, and chaos at the library. Each spread depicts a different episode. The art on the verso shows the boy committing a thoughtless act, and the recto pictures show what could happen if everyone broke the rules. Madden's experience as a greeting-card illustrator is evident in the variety of expressions shown on the faces of the multicultural cast in the colorful mixed-media drawings. This title could be a useful purchase for libraries looking to add to their collections of character-building books.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus ReviewsThink before you act, little one. Javernick presents a series of small infractions, 13 in all, committed by a clueless little boy. These include feeding the bears at the zoo, standing up on the school bus, rushing onto a football field to get a player's autograph, littering from a moving car, shooting a straw wrapper into the air at a restaurant, interrupting the librarian during storytime to ask a question, throwing his coat on the floor at school, etc. Each incident ends with a humorless, scolding adult pointedly asking, "What if everybody did that?" Madden's mixed-media illustrations are colorful and detailed, devoting one spread to each faux pas. The left-hand page depicts the little boy caught in flagrante by a scowling adult; the right-hand page depicts his imagining the consequences of "everybody doing that." This head-on approach may not be to all tastes. The chastising adults look frighteningly imposing, and, though at book's end the little boy's positive act (a loving hug) is amply rewarded, there's no indication of lessons learned. (Picture book. 3-7)
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What If Everybody Did That? based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Kantian ethics for kids! Consider this as a replacement for the usual 'Groundwork for the Metaphysic of morals' prescribed to misbehaving children. Not only does it translate the stuffy philosophical concepts into an easily digestible form it also is a great starting point for discourse on the categorical imperative and the idea of humanity as an end in itself.
My Kindergarten students loved this book. It led to great discussions about the need to follow procedures, so that everyone benefits.