Title: Each Kindness
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated By: E.B. Lewis
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Books
Genre: Children’s Books
Source: Personal Copy
When you are at school, there are only two broad roles you can adopt – either be the bully or you end up becoming the one who is bullied. It is sad, but it is true. For all the innocence children seem to possess, they fall short on kindness sometimes, or maybe most of the time. I think mostly it comes from adults, from their parents and teachers and the people they interact with. Sometimes, picture books are the best when it comes to depicting situations and for children to realize what they are doing is so superficial and pretentious at so many levels.
“Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson is about being bullied at school. It is about being alienated and trying to fit in. The book will not take you more than fifteen minutes to finish, but it is not about the duration. It is about the feelings it leaves you with once you are done. Chloe and her friends will not play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her group, she is shunned and avoided. One day Maya stops coming to school and this is when Chloe’s teacher talks to them about kindness.
It is so important to be kind. We know that. We may even believe it to a very large extent, but the question is: How many of us actually practice it? How many of us take time to think about it and make an effort to be kind?
I was so taken in by the book’s plot that I had to buy it. I had to keep reading it over and over again, to be assured of what kindness means – even in a technology-driven world like ours. I must also add that the art by E.B. Lewis is magnificently done – in the sense, that it captures the calm and emotions that go through when you are unkind or when the realization dawns of how important it is to be kind, whether you are a child or an adult. I think this book somehow would also make more sense for adults, given how we forget to be kind so many times. I highly recommend this one only because we should not forget what it is to be kind.