“Kindness”

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The concept of kindness is one that many children’s books can treat either seriously or in a humorous way.  Here are three titles that deal with the subject differently.

9781554984312_p0_v1_s118x184.jpg“Sidewalk Flower,” published in 2015, is a wordless picture book written by Jon Arno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith. As the story begins, we meet a little girl who is walking with her dad through a busy city.  Everything around her is pictured in black and white drawings, with the exception of the little girl who is dressed in a red coat.  As she walks alongside her dad, she stops to pick dandelions and wild flowers that are growing in the cracks of sidewalks.  As she continues to pick the flowers, color is gradually introduced into the drawings.  When she begins to give away the flowers to a dead bird, to a stranger, her mom, her siblings the illustrations become more and more colorful.

“Sidewalk Flower” is a wonderful book to “read” with children.  As they look at each frame of the book’s drawings, they can develop their own story and think about how everyone can bring kindness into each person’s life.

“Last Stop On Market Street” is a 2015 Newbery Award winning picture book.  Written by Matt De La Pena and Christian Robinson, the book focuses on simple acts of kindness that even the youngest child can perform.

C.J. and his Nana are traveling on a city bus.  They encounter fellow travelers and C.J.’s Nana encourages him to look at each person as an individual and appreciate each one of them.

Christian Robinson’s simple illustrations offer a great backdrop to a story of

of acceptance, kindess,  and appreciation of others.9780399257742_p0_v2_s118x184.jpg

Awarding-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s picture book “Each Kindness” offers a powerful message of kindness.  Illustrator E.B. Lewis’s realistic, almost photographic, drawings add a very realistic feel to the story.

When a new student, Maya, enters the class, the teacher places her next to Chloe.  Instead of welcoming Maya, Chloe and her friends exclude Maya and make her feel unwanted.  Even when Maya tries to be kind to the girls, they continue to make fun of her clothes, what she eats, and the toys she brings to school.  Only when Maya doesn’t return to school, does Chloe realize how she has treated Maya.

Woodson offers the reader a poignant story that will resonate with most

children.  9780399246524_p0_v2_s118x184.jpg   Kindness is something that each of us needs and each of us is capable of giving.

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