Friday, April 6, 2018

BE KIND by Pat Zietlow Miller & Jen Hill

A wonderful book for the classroom or school library!

Summary from Amazon:

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?

From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend.

With a gentle text from the award-winning author of Sophie's Squash, Pat Zietlow Miller, and irresistible art from Jen Hill, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.

Be Kind was written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill. It was published by Roaring Brook Press in 2018.


Tanisha spilled grape juice yesterday.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

Although we are often told as writers that our messages should be subtle, this story takes a direct approach. For me, this straightforward writing style keeps the story from feeling too preachy. I especially liked the way the author introduced situations that are part of a child’s typical everyday experiences, e.g., spilled juice, class guinea pig, and using another person’s name. The illustrations have realistic style with interesting details.

My Thoughts as an Educator:

When I read this book to my kindergarten students, it generated a lot of discussion. I love the way this story brings the concept of kindness to the child’s level in terms they can easily understand. I really liked, too, the way the text acknowledges that it’s not always easy to be kind: And sticking up for someone when other kids aren’t kind is really hard.

Taking small acts of everyday kindness and showing how they can grow into something bigger is lovely. This book is a great purchase for a classroom! I read a copy from the public library but I’m going to buy one for my personal collection.

Ages: 4 and up

Grades: K and up

Themes: kindness, caring, community


Think: What can you do to be kind at home? At school? Make a list of ways to be kind.

Act: Try doing one kind thing a day for a week. Draw pictures of what you did to be kind.

Create: Make a kindness wall in your classroom, where students can leave notes when they see someone else being kind.

Explore: Could your class start a small act of kindness might grow to include other classes in your school, or beyond? What could you do?

Watch: This book trailer shows kids talking about being kind:


  1. What a sweet book! I added it to my list. I also love the idea of illustrating that kindness is not always easy. It is a choice. It is great to hear it prompted a good discussion in your class.

  2. I love this book! I checked it out from my library a few weeks ago, and like you, I thought the straight forward writing style was spot on. Not preachy at all.

  3. I do like this book and I'd like to see all kids read it.

  4. Talking with kids about kindness is so important at an early age. I am all for books that promote kindness! I love your idea about creating a kindness wall where kids can be acknowledged for being kind by peers! This is a lovely gift book, too!

  5. This would be a great one to pair with mine today, Andrea, Mela and the Elephant. Kindness rules.

  6. This lovely book gets at the heart of kindness; both its ease and difficulties. A perfect read-aloud!

  7. I've seen this one but don't have it yet; your review makes me want to go get it this weekend. Kindness IS a choice guaranteed to WOW (warm our world) everyone in its orbit.

  8. This sounds like a really sweet book with a great message. Thanks for telling me about it.


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