I happened up on this adorable picture book when having coffee at our local bookstore this week. I especially enjoy children’s books, and this one is no different. It’s Be Kind, by Pat Zietlow Miller, and it’s beautifully illustrated by Jen Hill.
Miller has created a charming story of a little girl who wants to help a friend, but isn’t exactly sure how to do it. She ends up contemplating all the ways to show kindness, and reaches very mature conclusions for a child.
Tanisha spilled grape juice on her new dress. Everyone laughed, except one little girl who tried to be kind to by saying, “Purple is my favorite color,” thinking it would make Tanisha feel a little better. It didn’t. Tanisha ran away.
The little girl considers what she could have done differently. Maybe she should have let Tanisha borrow her sweatshirt, or spilled her juice on herself, so Tanisha wouldn’t feel alone. She then asks herself, “What does it means to be kind, anyway?” She considers all the things she could do to be kind to others, and comes up with a remarkable variety of things to do.
After considerable thought, she recognizes that she should stick up for others when the other kids aren’t being kind. She also realizes this can be scary. She takes it a step farther by realizing the small things she could do could be built upon by other people doing small acts of kindness and that, together, people can accomplish big things –wonderful things that could spread throughout her school, into her town, and, someday, around the world. I believe all children should read this book, or even better, have a caring adult read it to them.
What Makes This Reviewer Grumpy?
I was only mildly grumpy because the sweet little girl who wanted to be so kind remained nameless. So how did I know it was a girl? Those beautiful illustrations, of course!