Each Kindness

Each Kindness9780399246524_p0_v2_s260x420Each Kindness

Jacqueline Woodson, Author

E. B. Lewis, Illustrator

Nancy Paulsen Books, Fiction, 2012

Suitable for Ages: 4 -8

Themes: Acceptance, Kindness, Friendship

OpeningOne morning, as we settled into our seats, the classroom door opened and the principal came in.  She had a girl with her, and she said to us, “This is Maya.”  Maya looked down at the floor.  I think I heard her whisper Hello.

Synopsis:  When Chloe first meets Maya, she notices her clothes are old and tattered and the strap on one of her shoes is broken.   The teacher assigns Maya to sit next to Chloe.  Maya manages to smile and say hello, but Chloe turns and looks out the window.  Chloe and her friends play and eat lunch together, but ignore Maya’s attempts to join them.  Whenever Mayas asks to play with the other girls, they say no.  Then one day Maya’s seat is empty.  After their teacher talks about kindness and its ripple effect, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in their treatment of Maya.  Is it to late?

Why I like this book:  I am a Jacqueline Woodson fan.  She takes on relevant subjects for children, like kindness. Her text is lyrical.  Each Kindness is a story that will stay with a child.  I am pleased there is no tidy ending in this story.  Maya is gone.  Chloe is left to think about her actions and how she lost an opportunity to make things right with Maya.  The soft watercolor illustrations by E.B. Lewis really set the tone for the book and convey a lot of emotion.  The last illustration is priceless and beautifully expresses Chloe’s sadness and feeling of loss.  A beautiful collaboration between Woodson and Lewis.  I also reviewed another book they collaborated on The Other Side.

Resources:  This is a great discussion book for the classroom.  It focuses on the ripple effect of our actions towards others.   Visit Jacqueline Woodson at her website and learn more.

Awards:  Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 2013 Jane Addams Peace Award, 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award, Best Book of 2012 – School Library Journal

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

20 thoughts on “Each Kindness

  1. That sounds like a great book to teach a lesson to kids. I’m glad it didn’t have a happy ending too.

    • Yes, I think the ending was important. Chloe really feels badly how she treated Maya. Now Maya is gone and she can’t apologize. She’s left with her regrets and thoughts about what she will do in the future.

    • Yes, I would call it memborable book. Glad to hear that your children’s school used the book. Great way to start the new school year too. Teachers could really be creative with the book and use it as a reminder. Liked the untidy ending.

  2. I like the message that there aren’t always happy endings and you really have to think about your actions. It’s also interesting how the main character is being the bully. E.B. Lewis is an awesome illustrator. I bet the illustrations are great.

    • Erik, it’s sad Chloe has to learn such a tough lesson, but her choices led her to this place. I’m not sure I’d call her a bully, just a girl who doesn’t know how to deal with someone who looks homeless or transient. I agree, I love E.B. Lewis is awesome. His illustrations look so summer like, that I thought it a good day to share it as school begins.

  3. Beautiful cover. The author’s name rang a bell, but when I looked her up, I couldn’t remember having read any of her books before. She’s on my radar now. I’ll have to pick one up.

    • E.B. Lewis is a faulous illustrator. I’ve reviewed a number of Woodson’s books. “The Other Side” has a very similar feel to is with the illustrations. I love her work.

  4. Lovely story, lovely blog. I still don’t have my computer back, so I am late responding. Kindness is something we all need right now! It is so important to teach this to our children.

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