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Check it out: Jacqueline Woodson's 'Each Kindness'

11:08 PM, Jan. 11, 2013  |  Comments
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Jacqueline Woodson's newest title, "Each Kindness", employs her trademark sensitivity and subtlety, while shying away from easy resolutions and moralizing. Grade-schooler Chloe ostracizes a new classmate, Maya, whose poverty is reflected in her out-of-date clothes. Chloe re-examines her aloof behavior when her teacher talks about the ripple effect of kindness. However, before Chloe can make amends, Maya moves away. Chloe is left to reflect on her behavior, and wonder what would have happened if she had not rebuffed Maya's gestures of friendship. This is a valuable selection for educators who want to emphasize kindness and social inclusion. The scene in which Chloe's teacher drops a pebble in the water to illustrate the power of each kindness is one that could be utilized in real-world classrooms.

A Select List of Brown County Library Children's Books (Preschool - Elementary)

* Denotes books appropriate for preschool-kindergarten

Charity/Community

"Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch"

Although this story is set around Valentine's Day, this delightful tale of community should be shared year round. Reclusive Mr. Hatch receives a valentine from a "secret admirer," which provides him so much hope and good spirit that he becomes a do-gooder around town. What will happen when he finds that the valentine is not what it seems? By Eilen Spinelli

"The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes" by Linda Glaser

"Extra Yarn" by Mac Barnett*

"The Girl Who Drew a Phoenix" by Demi

"Hooray for Grandparents Day!" by Nancy Carlson*

"Laundry Day" by Maurie Manning*

"The Magic Gourd" by Baba Diakite

"Mrs. Muddle's Holidays" by Laura Nielsen*

"Our Community Garden" by Barbara Pollak*

"The Runaway Rice Cakes" by Ying Compestine*

"Seed Magic" by Jane Buchanan*

Gratitude

"Those Shoes"

This likeable story deals with empathy and gratitude in a modern grade- school setting. Jeremy covets the current trendy sneakers, and to his delight, finds a newish pair at a thrift store. Jeremy buys the shoes even though they are several sizes too small. Seeing a classmate with taped-together shoes offers Jeremy a chance to do good while also awakening his sense of gratitude. Boelts manages to create a story that educates without lecturing, making this an ideal classroom read. By Maribeth Boelts

"An Awesome Book of Thanks!" By Dallas Clayton*

"Bear Says Thanks" by Karma Wilson*

"The Quiltmaker's Gift" by Jeff Brumbeau

Honesty

"Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf"*

Using overt humor to emphasize honesty pays off in this delightfully warped story. While telling an inaccurate version of the "Three Little Pigs" at library story hour, the Big Bad Wolf is confronted by the story-book characters he has wronged. Wolf decides to reform his behavior and to find a way to make up for the damage he's caused. The book's large size and bright retro-esque illustrations will draw a crowd (for preschoolers through 3rd graders). By Judy Sierra

"The Empty Pot" by Demi*

"Jamaica's Find" by Juanita Havill*

"Sam Tells Stories" by Thierry Robberecht*

Inner Beauty

"Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale"

A Zimbabwean tale with echoes of Cinderella tells of two sisters, one vain and selfish, the other kind and generous, and a clever test to determine which will become queen. This timeless tale is supported by superb illustration, which at times appears photorealistic. Share this flawless tale with an elementary-aged audience. By John Steptoe

"The Goat-Faced Girl: A Classic Italian Folktale" by Leah Sharpe

"Martina the Beautiful Cockroach" by Carmen Agra Deedy

"The Monster Princess" by D.J. MacHale*

Kindness to Animals

"How to Heal a Broken Wing"*

A wordless book about a small boy's compassion for an injured pigeon on a city street. The boy's mother helps him rescue the bird, reiterating the importance of parental figures in being role models of good character. By Bob Graham

"Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance" This beautifully photographed non-fiction book tells the story of Audie, one of the pit-bulls rescued from pro-athlete Michael Vick's dog-fighting operation. Without politicizing, the straightforward text focuses on the people who help rehabilitate Audie, who in turn becomes a therapy dog for both people and abused animals. Beyond the focus on kindness to animals, this is an account of community outreach and compassion undoing violence. By Dorothy Patent

"The Scrawny Cat" by Phyllis Root*

"The Blue House Dog" by Deborah Blumenthal

"'Let's Get a Pup!' Said Kate" by Bob Graham*

"Melvin and the Boy" by Lauren Castillo*

"One Day at Green Wood Animal Shelter" by Patricia Casey*

Perseverance/Courage

"Tsunami!" By Kamiko Kajikawa

Based on a true account, this is the powerful story of a Japanese rice farmer who set his own crops ablaze to warn fellow villagers of a rapidly approaching tsuami, saving hundreds of lives. Ed Young's paper collage illustrations are as stunning and dramatic as the narrative, making this appropriate for grades 3 and up.

"Amandina" by Sergio Ruzzier*

"Clever Jack Takes the Cake" by Candace Fleming*

"Courage" by Bernard Waber*

"A Home for Bird" by Phillip Stead*

"Horton Hatches the Egg" by Dr. Seuss

"The Other Side" by Jacqueline Woodson *

"Quickie Makes the Team" by Donald Driver*

Activism/Environmentalism

"The Carpet Boy's Gift" by Pegi Shea

"The Curious Garden" by Peter Brown*

"Giant Steps to Change the World" by Spike Lee*

"Imogene's Last Stand" by Candace Fleming

"The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss

"Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney

"Mossy" by Jan Brett*

"The Snail and the Whale" by Julie Donaldson*

Being a Good Friend/Compassion

"Each Kindness" by Jacqueline Woodson

"Enemy Pie" by Derek Munson

"
Leonardo the Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems*

"My Best Friend" by Mary Ann Rodman*

"The Name Jar" by Yangsook Choi

"One" by Kathryn Otoshi*

"One Green Apple" by Eve Bunting

"Say Hello" by Jack Foreman*

"You Can Be a Friend" by Tony Dungy

"Yo? Yes!" by Chris Raschka"*

"Zuzu's Wishing Cake" by Linda Michelin*

The Golden Rule

"Because of You: A Book of Kindness" by B.G. Hennessy*

"Bee-Wigged" by Cece Bell*

"The Golden Rule" by Ilene Cooper*

"The Kindness Quilt" by Nancy Wallace

"The Lion and the Mouse" (wordless version) illustrated by Jerry Pinkney*

"The Three Questions" by Jon Muth

Peace/Forgiveness

"Can You Say Peace?" by Karen Katz*

"The Earth Shook: A Persian Tale" by Donna Jo Napoli

"The Enemy" by Davide Cali

"Four Feet, Two Sandals" by Karen Lynn Williams

"The Forgiveness Garden" by Lauren Thompson

"14 Cows for America" by Carmen Agra Deedy

"Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace" by Anna Hines

"Silent Music: A Story of Bagdad" by James Rumford

"Sir Lofty and Sir Tubb" by Binette Shroeder

"Smoky Night" by Eve Bunting

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