October 23, 2018

A World of Kindness

from the Editors and Illustrators of Pajama Press
(including Ann Featherstone, Brian Deines, Tara Anderson, Wallace Edwards, François Thisdale, Kim La Fave,      Manon Gauthier, Dean Griffiths, Suzanna Del Rizzo and Rebecca Bender)
Pajama Press
32 pp.
Ages 3-7
October 2018 

Whether a child dealing with a mean classmate, nastiness on social media, or world leaders striking out at others, it's evident that our world needs more kindness. But being kind is not always inherent; sometimes, often, it needs to be taught or even inspired. As Aesop affirmed, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is every wasted." Let us be kind.

In fourteen double-spreads of text and image, the editors and illustrators of Pajama Press spark discussions about how kindness can manifest and how we should examine our own actions for kindness. Starting with "Are you kind?", the book asks questions while suggesting ways of being kind. From "Do you wait your turn?" and "Will you help someone younger...or older?" to "Are you gentle with animals big...and small?" young readers are asked to look within for evidence of their own kindness.
From A World of Kindness, illustration by Kim La Fave

From A World of Kindness, illustration by Tara Anderson
Children see how to be kind while being asked about being kind. Ideas about saying "Please" and "Thank you" and "I'm sorry" are demonstrated as important, as are sharing, helping, being supportive and compassionate. A World of Kindness covers the simplest acts of thoughtfulness and yet makes the significant and critical point that "a little kindness grows into a world of kindness."
From A World of Kindness, illustration by Manon Gauthier
The text of A World of Kindness is endearing and straightforward, and will work well with young preschoolers and children in primary grades. But it's the illustrations, some from already published works and some original art, that will carry the message. Children will see kindness in the hugs, the sharing, and the love that seasons these pages. (There are different heart shapes throughout the book, reminding us what is at the heart of kindness.) The illustrations, like Suzanne Del Rizzo's amazing polymer clay book cover art, depict all children and are aimed at children's experiences with animals, peers, siblings, elders, and parents, and include those during all seasons in Canada and in other global locales including Sri Lanka (Kim La Fave's art from When the Rain Comes), Tanzania (Brian Deines's illustration from In a Cloud of Dust), and Jordan (Suzanne Del Rizzo's art from her My Beautiful Birds). A World of Kindness shows kindness in its own inclusivity.

A World of Kindness will undoubtedly be used as a tool for teaching and instilling kindness, especially as Pajama Press has provided a downloadable poster (https://pajamapress.ca/resource/a_world_of_kindness_extra_content/) and teaching guide (https://pajamapress.ca/resource/a_world_of_kindness_teaching_guides/) on its website. Moreover, with all royalties going to Think Kindness, a project that aspires to inspire kindness in schools and other communities, purchasing A World of Kindness is a win-win for all.  But, at its heart, A World of Kindness is a compendium of beautiful messages in words and art to help make our world, starting with our youngest readers, a place of graciousness and goodwill.  With such benevolence, this picture book will triumph with purpose.

1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant and compassionate and gorgeous book! It seems this old world is forever in short supply of kindness and starting to understand kindness when we are young, with words and art as powerful and affecting as provided these stellar contributors, offers any teacher and parent the best possible guide. It gives weary old'ish authors like me hope for the future as well!