A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows simple, practical ways of being kind to others and helping someone who's having a bad day feel better.
"Maybe I can only do small things. But my small things might join small things other people do. And together, they could grow into something big." "Being kind can be hard, too. Even when you know what to do."
Positive Role Models
Main character/narrator notices when her classmate Tanisha is having a rough time, is sensitive to the fact that other kids are making fun of her, and tries to think of ways to help Tanisha feel better. She's caring, feels empathy, takes action to reach out to Tanisha rather than idly standing by. Many examples of other kids and adults being kind locally and globally. Classmates and townsfolk are diverse, as are kids shown in other countries, including Peru, Egypt, Japan, the Middle East.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pat Zietlow Miller's Be Kind is narrated by a compassionate kid (could be boy or girl) who notices a classmate, Tanisha, who's embarrassed by having spilled grape juice on her new dress and runs out into the hall after the other kids laugh at her. The unnamed kid wants to make Tanisha feel better but isn't sure how, and starts to ponder what it means to be kind. The kid comes up with examples in her school, community, across the country and the world, shown in cheerful, appealing illustrations. The story comes full circle as the kid finally finds a simple way to make Tanisha feel better. Be Kind provides an opening for discussing the value and power of kindness and ways to be kind to others.
Is It Any Good?
What could have been a sentimental exercise is elevated to a meaningful exploration of kindness in this lovely picture book with Jen Hill's charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations. The little kid narrator of Be Kind not only offers examples of reaching out to others to make them feel good or feel better when they're down, but also acknowledges that it's not always easy. "And sticking up for someone when other kids aren't kind is really hard. (And really scary.)"
This is a great book for opening up a discussion about what it means to be kind and identifying simple, practical ways we can show kindness to those around us.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.