An uplifting book about how to show kindness through abundant giving.
Kiko wakes up in the morning eager to discover what delicious food the garden has to offer, beginning the narrative by asking readers who helps them wake up. This immediately invites readers into the story on a personal level. Kiko and older sister Annie begin giving away their harvest, and throughout all of Kiko’s sharing, readers will find diversity among those in Kiko’s life. Through the inclusion of children of color, a same-sex brown-skinned neighbor couple, a hungry white woman who appears homeless, an elderly white woman with a disability, and a white man who struggles with sadness and anger, readers will be exposed to a variety of accurately represented people. Kiko and Annie present Asian and their parents, white, suggesting interracial adoption. Kiko’s gentle adventures encourage children to think of others’ needs and feelings. Kiko ends this story of giving generously by asking readers to think about how they might “grow kind.” Lyles’ colorful, collagelike illustrations are as inviting and charming as Kiko’s narration. The final pages include a “Note to Parents and Other Caregivers” section that provides education and guidance regarding encouraging empathy in young children and how to use this book to do so.
This positive, diverse book about kindness can be used in a variety of teaching and learning spaces. (Picture book. 3-6)