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Something Beautiful [Hardcover]

By Sharon Dennis Wyeth (Author) & Chris K. Soentpiet (Illustrator)
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Item description for Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth & Chris K. Soentpiet...

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

Publishers Description
Everyday a young girl is disheartened by the things in her neighborhood: the trash on the streets, the graffiti on the walls, and the homeless woman that sleeps in a box.  When she learns the word "beautiful" at school, she sets out to find "something beautiful" in her surroundings.  In her search, this little girl learns to see beyond the barren ugliness of her environment to find beauty in her friendships, her family, and herself.
Sharon Dennis Wyeth is the author of several books for young readers, including Daughter McGuire and Always My Dad.  

Illustrator Chris K.  Soentpiet is the recipient of several awards, including the International Reading Award for More Than Anything Else and the gold medal for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show for Peacebound Trains.
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.

Awards and Recognitions
Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth & Chris K. Soentpiet has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • North Carolina Children's Book Award - 2002 Nominee - Picture Book category
  • Georgia Children's Book Award - 2001 Nominee - Picture Storybook category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth & Chris K. Soentpiet has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Booklist - 09/15/1998
  • Publishers Weekly - 08/03/1998 page 83
  • School Library Journal - 12/01/1998 page 96
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/1999 page 49
  • Publishers Weekly - 07/31/1998

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Pages   32
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 8.75" Height: 11.5"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 8, 1998
Publisher   Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Age  4-8
ISBN  0385322399  
ISBN13  9780385322393  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sharon Dennis Wyeth & Chris K. Soentpiet

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

Sharon Dennis Wyeth currently resides in Upper Montclair, in the state of New Jersey.

Sharon Dennis Wyeth has published or released items in the following series...

  1. My America (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Multicultural Stories > African-American
2Books > Subjects > Children > Issues
3Books > Subjects > Children > Literature
4Books > Subjects > Teens > Social Issues > General
5Books > Subjects > Teens > Social Issues

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Reviews - What do customers think about Something Beautiful?

sweet  Apr 30, 2008
this story teaches kids that they have the power to create their own beauty and bring it to their lives. the girl in this book walk around her house and sees some not very nice things, including some not so nice graffiti on a door, and the reader gets a sense of her unease. then she goes to school and her teacher teaches the class the word beautiful, which is described as something, when you have it, that makes your heart happy. so she goes around the neighbourhood asking people what is beautiful to them, and various responses are given. finally the little girl goes back to the graffiti and erases it, making a bit of beauty come into her own world. after that it ends on a sweet note with her mother. i think this a good book to read to a child to teach them that they have the power to make a positive change in the world, and that for every cloudy day there is an optimistic sun hiding unseen that is capable of showing itself to those who look for it.
Heartfelt and Memorable Book for all readers.  Jan 3, 2007
The story, Something Beautiful, is a wonderful springboard for discussion about how to make sense of a complex world. Big issues are tackled in this book. Gorgeous illustrations and engaging text frame examples of crime, poverty, homelessness, urban living, social structures within families and friendships, and clearly, recognizing the power in oneself to choose a positive perspective of one's life. The engaging illustrations focus on characters' expressions and different micro-settings within the larger picture of an urban neighborhood. All the characters share what they feel is beautiful in their lives to an inquisitive, little girl. My favorite part is when the little girl asks her mother about what is beautiful. Her mother responds, "You, of course!" The author follows the story with a personal experience with her own mother. This is a MUST read aloud for all children. The book will enable you to have a rich, memorable discussion about what is beautiful in a world filled with bad news. You will not be disappointed with this beautiful story!
Superb in every respect, with a great lesson to teach  Aug 26, 2002
Sharon Dennis Wyeth's 1998 book "Something Beautiful" was inspired by her own memories of growing up in a place which was, perhaps, not as beautiful as she would have liked. We follow an unnamed little girl through her neighborhood as she looks for something beautiful as a teacher has instructed her to do. What we see is litter, broken windows, scary graffiti, homeless people, and more. But the little girl manages to find out from everyone she asks what they find beautiful around them. She is variously given the examples of a fish sandwich, a jump rope, some apples at a fruit market, and even a smooth, heavy stone a neighbor carries for good luck. The best and most beautiful example, though, comes from the little girl's mother--and her reply ends the book on a lovely note.

Chris Soentpiet's watercolor illustrations are nothing short of remarkable. They are nearly photographic in their detail and lifelike aspect, and they give a visual rhythm to the text. He is to be commended for his ability to combine both an unflinching look at a downtrodden neighborhood and examples of how we all can find beauty everyday, if we look hard enough.

Jetae' from Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary  Jan 10, 2002
I love the illustrations in Something Beautiful because it shows how the girl feels. My favorite part is when she goes looking for something beautiful. Then she finds out that she is beautiful. The illustrations are bright and colorful.
Emily from Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary  Jan 10, 2002
I think Something Beautiful was excellent because of Chris Soenpiet's illustrations. I think they were wonderful, marvelous, and interesting. My favorite part was when the little girl found out she was something beautiful. I give this book 5 stars because of the way Chris drew the pictures. I recommend this book to kids of all ages. He made me feel like I was right in the little girl's neighborhood.

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