I love reading and writing stories about woodland animals. One Small Thing is one of those woodland animal stories.
It may have been fires in California that motivated me to write One Small Thing. My husband and I had just moved from beautiful Sonoma County to Florida, but the fires of 2017 and 2018 affected us, nevertheless. Our goddaughter’s family lost their home in the 2017 Tubbs Fire and the lovely town of Paradise was almost completely destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire. I knew many neighbors and friends reached out to help those who had lost so much. I started thinking about how woodland characters might help a neighbor who had been affected by a fire. Often, in the face of tragedy, we don’t know what to do, but as we ponder, we realize there is something we can do, even if it seems like “one small thing.”
Awards and Honors
From Youth Services Book Review:
Straight-forward phrasing and cute, cozy illustrations make this simple and sweet allegory stand out. Readers will certainly take to heart the reminder that little things mean a lot, especially for someone in trauma or suffering a loss. The message may not be subtle, but it is gently delivered in a non-didactic way. A read-aloud or lap-share of One Small Thing will likely engender important conversations with young people about the attitudes of the different characters and how they change over the course of the story. Children will love the adorable animal characters, and the details in their homes are fun to look at, as is the creepy dark wood that Badger traverses.
It is appropriate and appealing for preschoolers and primary grade students; their teachers and parents of that age range will find it worthwhile in general, and especially useful perhaps for kicking off service projects or donation drives for those in need, and for encouraging young ones to think beyond their own immediate comforts.
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