We all want to matter in the world, but sometimes it is hard to see how our small actions can make a difference in such a big world full of people. While most of us are aware of the butterfly effect, that seemingly inconsequential actions can have a huge impact, "Because Amelia Smiled" by David Ezra Stein is a picture book that takes that concept and puts it into human terms.
A small child smiles as she skips down the street. As a result, another woman saw her and smiled and thought of her grandson far away. She baked cookies and sent them to him who in turns shares them with his class while teaching them an English song about cookies. The chain of events continues until finally it comes back full circle to Amelia and she smiles again.
While not all of the effects seem realistic, one never knows in life, and this book helps people, both young and old, realize that they do matter and that their actions, even seemingly inconsequential ones, can have far-reaching consequences. It is a charming book that I shared with my teenagers and young daughter. We all loved it.