Top critical review
Sometimes kindness is hard to define. Not if you have this book.
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2020
Oftentimes the concept of kindness is hard to grasp for young minds. If you need proof, look no further than adults who don’t understand the concept. This book goes a long way in helping to explain kindness to everyone.
In simple prose, Underwood provides relatable examples of kindness with which children can easily identify. My personal favorites: It’s soup when a neighbor is sneezy and sick or a scoop (of ice cream) if one happens to fall.
Chan, an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer for children’s books and a host of other media, uses vivid colors and lots of details to flesh out Underwood’s themes. The art enhances the book, making it available to non readers and early readers alike. In fact, special props go out to Chan, who creates an entire storyline out of prose that does not provide one. Chan creates an entire community out of these seemingly random acts of kindness, encompassing them all into a loving community.
Aimed primarily at four to eight year olds this is a good, solid book and one that should definitely be read with a child. More than once. The question for me, as always, is whether or not this book is a keeper. The answer is a qualified no. Once the book’s theme is exhausted and the examples are learned, it’s time for the book to move on and help another child.
This is not a book that contains a story that can be revisited over and over. And, although it is true that there is nuance in the examples provided by Underwood, the attention span of the average child may not support multiple readings without character development.