Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When No One is Watching by Eileen Spinelli, David A. Johnson (Illustrator)

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978080253035
Hardcover $16.00
About the book: When no one is watching, it's easy to be brave -- to dance and sing, growl and cheer. But when everyone's watching, this book's shy young narrator finds it far easier to hide. With her best friend, Loretta, though, she doesn't feel shy, embarrassed, awkward, or odd -- not one bit. Together they're like two peas in a pod, whether anyone's watching or not.Any readers who have felt shy will certainly recognize themselves within the pages of this adorable book, which will encourage even the most timid of audiences with its celebration of the value of a good friend.

My thoughts: Eileen Spinelli captures what it is like to have pent up desires and ambitions but you're too shy to let them out. It is all about When No One is Watching that we dance with a broom, put on a brave show of strength, and leap with exuberance. Spinelli uses a few lines on each two page spread with a couple in rhyme. The effect is superb and makes for tremendously fun read aloud times.

As artist David A. Johnson skillfully drew this shy but exuberant little girl, he uses a combination of toned down and bright and vivid on the same page to show emotion and energetic activity. Very effectively done. And the little girl is simply adorable with her unruly curls caught back in a headband. What I love, is the seemingly never-ending length and tangle of the shoe strings. They just seem to grow and multiply. Real cute.

The overall take away from the book is that even though shy, we can have and can express our exuberant feelings and no one has to be watching. We can have, too, as this sweet and charming little girl does, a special friend that completely understands and they both can relate and visit the zoo or quietly read a book.

A charming book. Thanks Eerdmans for publishing it.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for the review.


  1. Such a nice recommendation :) Pls do share at the Practical Mondays link up too!

  2. I'm intrigued by your comment about the shoelaces! Thanks for being a part of the Booknificent Thursday reading community this week!


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