A SMALL KINDNESS
By: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by: Wendy Leach
Published: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Running Press Kids
I love when children’s authors continue to write books that are timeless and ones that I will keep in my book bin forever. McAnulty’s book is so important, it should be required reading in every home and classroom.
There are very few words on the pages, but the illustrations tell just as much of the story. It all starts with the kids lining up to go into the school building for the day. The author likens it to a game of tag. Leach’s first double-page spread shows the kids in line, the playground, school building, and teacher. All of them are in a sepia tone except one girl in the front of the line, named Alice. Once the kids are in the building putting their bags in their cubbies, Alice smiles at Lucas. What we see in the illustration is the continued sepia-tone except for now Alice’s colors are spreading onto Lucas. His shirt is starting to turn red and his backpack, orange. Lucas then greets Jasmine and the color train continues. By the end of the school day, everyone is in full-color including the janitor and the teacher.
The kids at school are from various diverse backgrounds and abilities. No two kids look alike except for their huge smiles on their faces. I especially loved how the illustrator made the kids’ faces light up once someone had been kind. You can see it in their eyes.
This important message of a small act of kindness making a difference in the lives of others is so simple and yet so profound. Kids will understand the simple effort of saying “Hi” or sharing and then see it play out on the pages with that kindness being shared over and over again. Adults will be touched and reminded of how easy it really is to be kind. In this current state of our world, we could all use a little nudge to be kind.
Click HERE for a downloadable activity kit perfect for parents or teachers to use alongside this book.
Stacy McAnulty truly believes a small kindness can have a big impact. She is the author of over two dozen books for young readers. She lives in North Carolina with her family.
Wendy Leach was born in the heartland of the United States and has very stubbornly stayed put. She currently lives in Overland Park, Kansas. She loves that she’s ten minutes away from her favorite Caravaggio painting and five minutes away from a walk in the creek with her family.