Papa Gave Me a Stick by Janice Levy (and illustrated by Simone Shin) is a children illustrated book about kindness and the rewards of it. It combines the use of ones desires and culture to give readers the meaning and rewards of kindness.
Overall, I think this is a cute book, but I do have mix feelings about it. First off, I like the illustrations by Simone Shin. To my nephew and niece, the illustrations did show what I was reading. However, as illustrations, there was not much imagination or creativity, but just realism to the story. I guess that's what this book is. It's realistic approach, not imaginary. The spanish language throughout was a nice touch and it did coincide with the background of the story, since it's in Mexico.
The story is what gave me mix feelings. I see where the kindness comes from. I see how it's the lack of money to buy the guitar that starts off Papa Gave Me a Stick and then with the stick and Antonio's (the little boy) actions of kindness that leads to the ultimate reward. However, it did not resonate with me with the ending of Papa's own story of his Papa giving him a stick. My niece and nephew didn't really understand it either. However, the main theme of kindness did pan out, but was it because Antonio didn't want the stick and the other items in the first place. Is that true kindness? That is the question.
NOTE: I received a complimentary E-Copy of this book from the publisher, Star Bright Books for an honest review.