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This is a Classic Childrens’ Book That Some Adults Should Read


The book If Everyone Did by Jo Ann Stover is a funny kids book that some adults might benefit from reading.

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I can still hear my mom’s voice saying, “If everyone did it…” For years, that phrase was about all I remembered from a book she used to read to me as a child, until I looked it up and, eventually, read it to my kids.

Somehow that phrase, and its message, stuck in my young mind — even if it did not always influence my actions.

Jo Ann Stover’s book, If Everyone Did, full of humorous black and white line drawings, takes a look at one kid’s actions. Then, as the title implies, it looks at the impact of everyone doing that same thing.

Make a track into the house? Maybe OK, but if everyone did, you have a massive mess on your hands.

An illustration from If Everyone Did by Jo Ann Stover featuring a black and white drawing of footprints all over a room

The situations are presented funnily and appealingly for kids. They can, indeed, have an impact on how they look at social issues.

Some of us adults could benefit from reading this book’s simple message. That’s true at any time, but especially during this time of COVID-19. I, personally, know of people who heartily agree that social distancing and mask-wearing are things that people should do. And then act in a way that shows they think it does not apply to them.

I can see the potential illustrations for, “Have a secret-in-person-not-on-Zoom game night? This is what would happen if Everybody did.”

But I can’t judge too much. Though the book’s message has stuck with me, I do things at times that I know go against its simple philosophy. Thins that range from getting on an airplane churning out emissions to indulge my wanderlust to not returning my library books on time.

Still, it left a lasting impression on my young mind.

If you want a fun, and potentially social consciouness raising, book to read with your kids, this is a winner.

The cover of If Everyone Did by Jo Ann Stover.

Here’s someone’s read of this book that they took the time to post on YouTube:

Note that there’s another book which seems to have a simiar title and message: What if Everybody Did That by Ellen Javernick. But it’s not the same as If Everyone Did by Jo Ann Stover, which is the one I recall from childhood.

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Cheryl is the editor of Caffeine Journal and several other websites. Freed from the constraints of her day job, she took to traveling when able and writing incessantly for little pay, because she loves both writing and WordPress. She lives in Washington State with her spouse, one of two daughters, a mutt, and a Siamese cat.

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