A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Models social-emotional learning in text and appealing pictures: self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, personal responsibility, decision-making.
Being kind means being helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, grateful. Do the right thing, take responsibility, be a leader. Be true to yourself.
Positive Role Models
Three animal friends are great role models of various kind actions. We see them helping with trash clean up, taking turns at the slide, thinking of other's needs, taking responsibility for a ball that broke a window, giving generously of time and effort at a not very fun task (packing for a move), appreciating all they have. All characters are animals; gender is not emphasized, with colors and clothing mostly gender-neutral.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tomorrow I'll Be Kind, by Jessica Hische is the follow-up to her bestselling Tomorrow I'll Be Brave. This book follows a bunny, a cat, and a mouse as they model for young readers various ways to be kind. They offer bandages to a friend with a scraped knee, share gifts, save money to pay for a broken window, give comfort to a friend who's grandma died, donate toys, and offer to share ice cream, among other situations. Messages about being helpful, being a leader, taking responsibility, sharing, and more of the same are impossible to miss. The animal friends are impeccable role models; even when they make mistakes, they always do the best thing to turn it around. The stylized hand lettering of the "kind" key words and the colorful illustrations will certainly appeal to kids.
Is It Any Good?
This attractive book delivers its message with too heavy a hand, but its engaging illustrations and hard-to-argue-with lessons on kindness will appeal to young readers and adults. The hand-lettering of the keywords and bright, inviting pictures show kid-friendly ways to be helpful, honest, generous, and kind. The illustrations cluster around the keywords, or weave in and out of the letters in playful ways, but this sometimes makes them difficult to decipher. The illustrations mostly extend the text in critical ways -- showing just how kids can "take the lead," "wait" or "think of what others need." Although, some examples are abstract enough that the pictures will only make sense to older readers. The colors and clothing on the animals are generally gender-neutral, meaning all kids will be able to see themselves in these pages.
The biggest gripe is that the text teaches so explicitly about how to behave with kindness that it can come off as preachy and too obvious. Still, a book aimed at instructing kids on how to be more kind is a wise addition to any children's bookshelf, and one this pretty is likely to be requested over and over.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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