Be Kind is a touching story about how we can all be a little nicer to each other.

Title: Be Kind
Author: Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrator: Jen Hill
Rating: 9
Source: Raincoast Books for review

Description from Goodreads:

A picture book about the power of kindness.

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference–or at least help a friend.

What I Thought:

“Be kind” is probably the thing I say the most in this house. “Be kind to your sister!” or “Be kind to your friend!” or “Be kind to Mom!”

My husband and I have been talking lately about how we want our kids to be kind more than anything else. Especially since we have girls and society places such importance on beauty – something that you either have or you don’t – and while it’s good that the focus is shifting and now it’s also good for girls to be smart, being smart is also something that not everyone can be. You can work hard, and do well in school, but not everyone is going to be naturally incredibly smart. And that’s okay! But EVERYONE can be kind. That is something that is always within your control.

This book gives wonderful examples of ways kids (and adults!) can be kind to each other. From giving up your seat on the bus to donating old clothes, holding doors and giving directions, there are so many different kinds of kind.

I love that at the beginning of the book the main character almost laughs at the girl (Tanisha) who spills her juice – but then when she realizes that Tanisha doesn’t find it funny, she doesn’t laugh with the other kids. What a great way to teach emotional intelligence! This part really resonated with my daughter.

I love that the backgrounds for each page alternate – some are fully illustrated, some only partially, and some backgrounds are left totally blank. The visual interest this adds is wonderful. And of course the pictures themselves are just the cutest darn things.

The awesome message combined with the sketchy, emotive illustrations makes for a stellar story. It would be perfect in a classroom lesson on kindness!

What Evelyn Thought:

I liked it! It showed a lot of kindness. Just like, examples of things to be kind. I liked the pictures because I just think they are nice drawings.

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When was the last time someone was kind to you?