Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
A child contemplates the nature of kindness and how it can spread in this lovely exploration of empathy and thoughtfulness. "Tanisha spilled grape juice yesterday," the young narrator begins. "All over her new dress." Their classmates laugh, Tanisha flees the room, and the narrator's efforts to comfort her ("Purple is my favorite color") fall flat. Hill (Spring for Sophie) creates a gender-neutral narrator-a shaggy-haired child in an oversize purple football jersey-who goes on to debate methods of kindness, how tricky it can be, and how far a chain of generous actions might go: "all the way... around the world. Right back to Tanisha and me." The child says that "Mom always tells me to be kind," and Miller lets the student parse what that means without adult intervention; the child's musings ("Maybe it's giving.... Maybe it's helping") let readers do their own reflecting. A spirit of diversity, global and at the community level, pervades Hill's images, a visual reminder of the importance of kindness regardless of perceived otherness. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator's agent: Anne Moore Armstrong, Bright Group. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-Miller explores the topic of kindness through the story of a child pondering how to respond when a friend spills grape juice on herself. In the language of a child's thoughts, Miller provides examples of kindness (giving, helping, paying attention), and acknowledges that it is not always easy to be kind, especially when others aren't. Miller helps bring this abstract concept into concrete terms of children's lives. The illustrations are gentle and effective. The children's faces are expressive, and thick brushstrokes and watercolor add texture and depth to the pages. The color purple receives extra attention, but is well balanced with other colors and white space. The book presents the powerful message that small acts of kindness matter, and that they can build with other acts of kindness to make a difference. This is adeptly illustrated with vignettes representing kindness circling the globe, coming full circle to the schoolyard where the protagonist gives Tanisha a purple watercolor picture. While the protagonist could not fix the problem, the act of kindness still made a difference. VERDICT Books about kindness are frequently requested in public and school libraries alike. This title is a valuable addition on this topic and will promote conversation about what it means to be kind.-Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
At school, Tanisha spills grape juice on her dress. Most of her classmates laugh, but not the child narrating the story. Wanting to be kind, the child says, Purple is my favorite color. When Tanisha runs away crying, our protagonist wonders what it means to be kind. Is it paying attention? Saying thanks? Sticking up for someone who's being bullied? The immediate situation resolves itself in the illustrations, where the friends sit together in art class, and the narrator gives Tanisha a painting that she later tapes up above her bed. The heart of the book, though, lies in the narrator's reflections on kindness, small acts that can contribute to something big. The precisely worded, hopeful text offers ideas to ponder, while the artwork places them within kid-friendly contexts, such as a multiracial classroom and a neighborhood park. Nicely designed for drawing out children's ideas and opening a discussion on kindness, this picture book works well one-on-one or read aloud in a classroom, for the expressive pictures are still effective from a distance. A thoughtful picture book.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2018 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
This picture book champions interpersonal kindness both globally and in a young child's town.The unnamed white narrator wants to make a black girl named Tanisha feel better after spilling grape juice on herself in front of her multiracial classmates. "What does it mean to be kind anyway?" thinks the narrator. Next comes a catalog of easy, simple good deeds, such as "throwing away a wrapper or recycling a bottle," before the book moves on to ruminations about how kindness can be hard. The narrator wonders how "my small things might join small things other people do," combining with others' small good deeds to somehow "travel across the country / and go all the way / around the world." The illustrations are engaging and inventive, with lots of detail and an attractive use of color. The story gives children many concrete ideas of actionable kind deeds but without the difficult edges of how kindness can (or can't) be transformative or when kindness isn't enough to enact real change. The pictures show racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, among others, without explicitly addressing these categories in the text; some will appreciate this quiet inclusion, while others might wish for more help discussing these subjects with children. The white narrator comes to an open-ended conclusion while Tanisha is presented as a subject of pity, with no opportunity to speak for herself.Lovely illustrations work with a somewhat heavy-handed message; effective more as instruction than story. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.