A young girl learns that words can hurt in this companion book to author Ellen Javernick’s 2010 book, What If Everybody Did That?The girl tells boys they can’t play at the park with her; makes fun of her classmates’ artwork, and refuses to share her lunch with a hungry classmate, among other incidents, each prompting an adult to admonish, “What if EVERYBODY said that?” Reaction pages illustrate similar abrasive acts and the painful fallout, including hurt feelings and damaged self-esteem. After some introspection, the girl reaches out to a new neighbor, prompting the final sentence, with a different affect: “What if everybody said THAT?”
Ellen Javernick shows readers what would happen if everyone stopped being kind, resulting in hurt feelings and chaotic environments. She also creates a narrative that shows readers the power of words to hurt or to heal, and the difference just one voice can make. Each spread presents a different scenario, and allows readers to see both actions and consequences play out. The mixed media artwork provides a diverse group of children, and there are little hints within each spread to reinforce the bad feelings that stem from bad behavior: one girl sports a frowning flower on her sweater; broken hearts and astonished faces scrawled on a bench react to a hungry classmate.
What If Everybody Said That? is a great starting point for discussions on empathy, kindness, the power of words, and the consequences can that come from them. It’s a smart addition to your collections on feelings, emotions, and actions.
Ellen Javernick is the author of more than twenty books for children, including the Children’s Choice Book Award finalist The Birthday Pet, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley, and the bestselling picture book What If Everybody Did That?, illustrated by Colleen Madden. She has been an elementary school teacher for more than twenty years and currently teaches second grade. She lives in Loveland, Colorado.
Colleen Madden is the illustrator of numerous children’s books, including the picture book adaptation of All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and the bestselling picture book What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons. To see more of her work, visit: http://www.mbartists.com/cgi-bin/iowa/artists.html?artist=77
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