Kids are encouraged to engage in small but mighty acts of kindness throughout the day.
“A smile to greet the morning / A hug to greet each day / A ‘thank you’ and a ‘yes, please’ / Are things that you should say.” Vignettes depicting various scenarios and glossed with bold red statements of ways to be kind make up the majority of the work, but similar snatches of narratorial verse are also mixed in to hold the moments together. Standard advice applies: “Write thank-you notes!” or “Share your toy.” Other suggestions, such as “Hold the door for a friend,” or “Tell someone they are special,” seem perfectly polite on the surface, but Cole’s watercolor art conceals some devious possibilities within that both provoke thought and help to keep the book from feeling too syrupy. A cat holding the bird-cage door open, for instance, might not be as kind as one might think. But the art is full of unlikely groupings (a wolf helps three pigs build a brick house), and readers can only hope differences have been set aside for the sake of neighborliness (and enjoyment in spotting them). In a world where kindness and empathy are lacking, this string of actionable advice is enough to get the wheels turning.
The story will hopefully create similar compassion in readers—or it might just make them giggle. (Picture book. 3-6)