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Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (2012)
Jacqueline Woodson is one of my favorite children’s authors. I enjoyed reading her other picturebook collaboration with E.B. Lewis entitled, The Other Side. I was glad to find a copy of Each Kindness in my library. Myra shared her thoughts about this book back in February 2013. My library is celebrating two inspiring events this month (May It Forward and Rachel’s Challenge), and I think that Each Kindness is a great book to read alongside these events.
In Each Kindness, Woodson and Lewis send a thought-provoking message about a virtue that some people take for granted. The story was told in the point of view of Chloe, one of the students in Ms. Albert’s class. When a new girl named Maya showed up in school and took the only empty seat next to Chloe, Chloe decided to look away from Maya and not smile back.
Maya tried to make friends with the girls in her class. Every day, Maya brought a toy and offered to play it with the girls but no one was interested. The only things the girls were interested in were whispering about Maya and laughing about her clothes, her shoes, and her lunch. Then one day, Maya was gone. Her family decided to move away and they were never coming back.
Chloe did not feel the gravity of the situation until Ms. Albert talked about kindness in class. “Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.” Chloe then realized how mean she was to Maya, and how Chloe would never have the chance to show Maya kindness.
By writing Each Kindness, Woodson and Lewis are helping young readers understand kindness — what it means to be kind and how kindness affects people. While I believe in the collective good, I think that it’s important to instill kindness in children’s minds. Children should do simple acts of kindness every chance they get. It also helps to look for the good in people and not be so critical just because some people are different.
May It Forward
As I’ve mentioned in my Poetry Friday post yesterday, the Wayne County Public Library is celebrating its 3rd Annual May It Forward Kindness and Gratitude Challenge. It gave me a good feeling when I saw the display set up by the Adult Reference. It’s nice to be reminded of the good in this world, and how we’re all encouraged to do simple and random acts of kindness every day. The best people are the kind people. (Photos by Linda Hall from The Daily Record.)
The Wooster Community Schools worked in collaboration with the Wayne County Public Library to host a Rachel’s Rally Family Event for the first time. Rachel’s Challenge is an anti-bullying campaign with an emphasis on kindness and respect. This was established by the father of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999. For more information on this cause, you may visit the Rachel’s Challenge website.
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