Abe's Lucky Day by Jill Warren
July, 7th, 2011
Fiction Children’s Picture Book
Jill Warren was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania in 1961. She studied Special Education and Psychology at Lock Haven University until joining the Air Force in 1982. Upon returning to the states, she moved to New York and where she began work in the field of developmental disabilities. She completed her B.A. in Psychology in 1992, the same year her son was born. This was when her love of children's books began. Telling bedtime stories and reading with her young son brought forth an itch that had to be scratched. But it wasn't until 2008 that she began to write for children. In 2011, publication of her first book, "Abe's Lucky Day" represented the realization of a dream come true. Warren continues to live in New York and work with preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is currently working on her second book.
Reviewer: Renee Hand
Abe's Lucky Day is a delightful example of how one person's kindness can change another person's life forever.
Abe was a homeless man who lived in a noisy city with no family nearby. He was alone. Winter was coming to the city and Abe found warmth in an alley near a bakery. When he woke, his bones achy and his body stiff and cold, he noticed a warm loaf of fresh bread that had fallen off a delivery truck. He had eaten half of it when an elderly woman walked up to him, also homeless. She hadn't eaten in days. Abe gave her half of his bread. He was happy that she had eaten something.
Abe had visited the park where people would sometimes give him money. He found gloves to keep his hands warm, but when he noticed a boy walking through the park, his hands freezing from the chilly winter air, Abe gave him the gloves to warm his hands.
He had also given up a large box that was his bed for a girl to warm herself during the winter night as Abe sat in the snow to bare the elements. In the morning he finds ten dollars, which he aims to use for a nice warm breakfast, but when he sees a woman with her young child, who haven't eaten since the day before, Abe gives up his money to help them.
In a coffee shop, Abe sits down to a warm cup of cocoa when a businessman behind him drops his paper. Abe picks it up and in that moment the businessman sees something in Abe that no one else has--potential. What will he do that will change Abe's life forever?
Abe is a selfless character who is more concerned about the well being of others than himself. This story shows how one small kindness can affect people's lives in a positive and welcoming way. It will make the reader think of ways to help others. It doesn't matter how big or small the gesture is, but that at least a gesture is made.
The illustrations are cleanly done and expressive, but with a minor quibble. Abe appears young and too groomed to look homeless, which would make the reader wonder what happened in his life that would cause a young man not to be working or doing something for himself. A little more history of the character would have solved it.
Regardless of this, the story is powerful in it's meaning and shares with readers how kindness and just plain humanity, can make a difference in someone's life, instead of looking at someone differently for their misfortunes, we can think of how we can help them change their fate.