Kindness begets kindness and pays it forward: a timely, urgent message for all ages.

LITTLE BOOK OF KINDNESS

Kindness makes the world go round—and makes it better.

Spare text speaks meaningfully about how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can make big differences, both in others’ lives and in one’s own. Imported from Belgium and the Netherlands, this slim, compact offering, just the right size for little hands, says just the right things about the myriad ways one can be kind, all enacted by a sweet, young pig in a yellow jersey and shorts. An act of kindness is stated on a verso page with a wordless illustration facing it, followed by a double-page illustration showing the consequences of the kind act. For instance, the admonition “Offer a smile” faces an illustration of a dejected rabbit; the accompanying spread depicts the pig greeting the rabbit with a big grin and then a cheery, smiley rabbit continuing on its way. The simple, sweet illustrations, rendered in black and white with judicious pops of color, are fine conversational springboards; lapsitters and kids in group read-aloud sessions will enjoy interpreting what’s happening in the pictures. Some require a bit of thought; the pig looking dismayed at a wheeled trash can with a bit of litter next to it suggests a story that is upended with the turn of the page and its retrieval of a black kitten from within the can.

Kindness begets kindness and pays it forward: a timely, urgent message for all ages. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-60537-533-5

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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