Inspiration for acts of kindness, with illustrations from several artists.
The text, uncredited to a single author, uses direct address to draw readers into its central message. The first four spreads read: “Are you kind? / Do you wait your turn? / Will you help someone younger… /…or older?” Each brief line is illustrated by a different artist, with credits for the art in a table of contents. Some art is original to this book, while other illustrations have been taken from other picture books from this publisher. The result is akin to an exhibit book rather than a cohesive, illustrated narrative, and some pairings of art and text are more successful than others. The opening question is juxtaposed to a painting of three smiling children who appear black, Asian, and white and look out at readers with their hands open. This physical enactment of kindness is rather opaque compared to the next spread, which shows a child going down a slide while others await a turn. While many spreads include diverse human subjects, others, such as one reading “Do you say please and thank you? It’s easy, you know,” are illustrated with anthropomorphic animals, which might help lighten the text’s unabashed heavy-handedness. In a meta act of kindness, royalties from the proceeds from the book will support nonprofit group Think Kindness.
A tool to spur kindness conversations rather than a satisfying read unto itself. (Picture book. 4-7)