After reading this through several times, I have to say that I'm surprised it won a Caldecott. The primary message seems to be to buckle down and accept whatever your lot is without complaining. The tone is harsh and more than a little embittered. If you're a middle-aged person who has been beaten down into submission by the blunt, cruel blade of life, this book may be for you. If you look to fill your child's life with positive reinforcement and reasons why the world can be a beautiful place, this book should be avoided. This book is going straight into my recycle bin.