Kindness Grows

Tiger Tales. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781680102291.
PreS-Gr 2–This book makes clever use of die-cut pages as a metaphor for the impact of actions and feelings on friendships. On each spread, the die cut represents either a widening crack in friendships caused by negative actions and emotions while on the opposing page the same cutout is a growing tree, nourished by positive connections. At the end of book the illustrations cross the limits of their respective panels, first with leaves and then by reaching out a hand. The children slip through a final opening in the pages to all join hands around the tree of love and kindness. The wood print illustrations depict children with a variety of skin tones and hair colors in a color palette dominated by muted and neutral colors for the negative emotions and vibrant nature tones for the growing friendships. One spread cautions that while “it’s so hard to be friendly when all we feel is sad. Sometimes we are thoughtless and we make others feel bad.” The opposite page intones that “a kindly thought or action can make somebody’s day. If we keep our friends close by, we won’t drive them away.” The skillful illustrations and creative use of engineering is the strength of this title, while the moralizing text gives the book an old-fashioned feel.
VERDICT An additional purchase, where the beauty of the presentation is marred by a sentimental narration.

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