What Does It Mean to Be Kind?

posted on October 15, 2015 by Eve Panzer

What Does It Mean to Be Kind? is the latest in the “What Does It Mean To Be” series This series all follow a similar formula but each title addresses a different aspect of life giving examples of how a child can be a better global citizen. “What Does It Mean to Be Kind?” starts out with examples of different definitions for the word “kind”. “Kind’ can mean category, “sort of” (as in “kind of”), etc. But this book makes it clear that it is addressing acts of kindness and includes a myriad of examples. Some are common kindnesses such as holding a door open for others or picking up litter. But many of the examples are refreshingly unexpected such as “…seeing the best in people even when they are struggling to do their best” and “…allowing yourself to make and learn from your mistakes.” The book concludes with the following “Being kind means having the courage to treat others the way you like to be treated. So show your friends what it means to be kind. And spread the word – if we can all be kind to each other and to ourselves, the world will be more loving, caring and harmonious.”

There is so much to discuss with this book. It provides opportunities to have children can come up with their own examples of acts of kindness. The class (or a family) could come up with acts of kindness they could do on a bigger scale. The book also invites the reader to empathize with others, have compassion and try to understand things from someone else’s point of view.

There is no age limit on kindness, so this book can be used to start a discussion with any grade level. (Middle and high school students appreciate a break from long, deep novels and it often brings them back to a special time when many were read to by a family member or teacher.) The book is appealing in so many ways. The art is engaging, colorful and whimsical. Each page includes a lot of white and limited text, so it is easy on the eyes for every age level. I highly recommend this book for everyone in the human race!

The publisher has created a discussion guide which can be downloaded for free by going to What Does It Mean To Be Kind Discussion Guide for Pre K – Third Grade.

“What Does It Mean to Be Kind?” is from the independent children’s publisher Little Pickle Press located in San Francisco. This children’s publisher is small, but has a big heart. They do not just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Their books are produced”… in an environmentally-friendly manner.” In addition, they champion and support meaningful causes.

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Faced with the wealth of incredible books available for children, many educators can feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing titles for the classroom. If you’re a teacher who doesn’t want to resort to the dartboard method, the Barefoot Librarian is your new best friend!

-Audrey Linter, Blogger, Little Pickle Press