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SERENDIPITY by Tobi Tobias


by Tobi Tobias & illustrated by Peter Reynolds

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-83373-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Tobias, who wrote the wondrous A World of Words (1998), disappoints in this one, which never actually defines the word with which it plays. Serendipity’s derivation comes from the tale of the three princes of Serendip, who were always finding unexpected pleasures that they were not seeking. She doesn’t mention any of that. Instead, Tobias defines by event: “Serendipity is getting to the zoo just when it’s feeding time for the seals” or “Serendipity is when you find out you actually look better in glasses.” One could argue with her choices, too—blowing out all your birthday candles and having your wish come true isn’t exactly serendipity, is it? A cast of multiethnic folk with button eyes and snub noses smile through these pages, whose illustrations use two- and four-colors as well as full-color to engaging effect. Caution: may inspire crankiness in some wordsmiths. (Picture book. 5-8)