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Joe smelled kind of funny. He was a little bit weird.He wore trash can shoes, had a scraggly beard.He'd talk to the pigeons in front of Dad's store.I often wondered what he was sitting there for. Through the eyes of a young boy, readers meet Joe, a neighborhood man down on his luck. One day, the boy's father makes Joe a deal: sweep the sidewalk each morning and he can count on his meals. From that day on, the boy begins to recognize changes in this man his father hired-and when he's made stock boy, his new boss is Joe. Back at school the boy is inspired to interact with kids he used to ignore, and he realizes that Joe isn't the only one who's changed. Seskin and Shamblin's lyrical first-person narrative blends seamlessly with Christie's lush acrylic and gouache illustrations in this story about an act of compassion that makes a big difference.The best-selling authors of DON'T LAUGH AT ME team up with Coretta Scott King Honor recipient R. Gregory Christie to show childrenthat there are ways to overcome a first impression.Based on a song, the book includes a CD recorded by Steve Seskinand Allen Shamblin plus an instrumental version for sing-alongs.Musical score included.


"This powerful book would be a good choice to stimulate classroom discussions about helping, sharing, giving, understanding, and differences."-School Library Journal

Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    May 1, 2006

    Ten Speed Press

    RRP $26.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
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    • Collins Booksellers
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    • Robinsons Bookshop
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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