Monday, October 8, 2012

Silent Sally

For a lesson about helping others and being a DOER (not just hearing/talking about what God wants us to do but actually DOING it), check out Eric Wall’s book Silent Sally.

The rhyming book follows Sally as she spots classmates and neighbors in need and then steps up to assist them. Her peers think she is odd until they start to realize that her actions make a positive impact on the world. Yet even though they note her kindness, they still they continue to goof off in class, break the rules in the lunchroom, and trash the playground. Meanwhile Sally, ever vigilant, quietly stands alone as a model student.

Eventually, the teaching staff notices Sally’s efforts and the school decides to hold a celebration in her honor. Everyone is surprised when Sally doesn’t turn up to claim her award, and are amazed to find out she didn’t show up because she was out helping yet another person in need.

“Now they all were amazed/ Silenced as they heard the way/ Sally had missed the party to help yet another./ They were finally understanding/ The example Sally was setting,/ As they all began to discuss it with each other.”

So inspired is he by Sally’s selfless example, the principal declares a holiday, and the whole school goes out to do kind deeds in their community.

Special Note: Eric wall has contributed his artistic talents to several feature films, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Bolt, and more. Silent Sally is his second children’s book; his first is an adorable-looking book called The Harbor Light

What I Like: The story has a good lesson about being sensitive to those in need around us, and about how even the very smallest acts of kindness can make a very big difference. Through Sally, readers are provided with several simple ideas to help others—picking up trash, putting away toys, sharing a snack, caring for the class pet, and more. Even young readers will get that AHA moment when they realize that Sally does things that they can easily do as well. The artwork was cute and cartoonish, which will make it appeal to younger readers.

What I Dislike: The poetic meter was awkward at best, making the story very difficult to read out loud. Some of the rhyming matches were a stretch as well. I think it would have been much more palatable (and crisper) story if it were written in prose instead. Also, I thought it unrealistic to portray every other kid breaking rules or goofing off, for the school to throw a party because Sally helps a teacher to her feet and walks her to the office to rest, and for the principal to call a holiday.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: None is given. I think it's best suited for the K-1 crowd. The text is too long for preschoolers.

Publisher Info: Horizon Light Media, 2012; ISBN:978-0984683307; Hardcover, 32 pgs., $14.99
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