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Friday, October 19, 2012

Kindness


The fourth graders at our school attend an in-school Kindness Retreat each fall. As a child, I would have hated having to dance and sing and role play in groups like the students do on that day. Yet, for some people, those group experiences are the perfect way to reinforce kindness. 

Chloe, the narrator of Jacqueline Woodson's new book Each Kindness, learns about kindness through an experience at school involving a new student named Maya. Though Maya acted kindly toward Chloe and her friends, the girls shunned Maya and even picked on her for her shabby clothes and the odd objects she tried to share. When their teacher, Ms. Albert, asks each student to drop a stone into a bowl of water and observe the ripples, Chloe cannot imagine any kind act she has committed that would ripple to others. All she considers are the lost opportunities for being kind to Maya. When Maya suddenly moves away, Chloe reflects on how "the way the water rippled out and away. Out and away. Like each kindness - done and not done." 

Reminiscent of The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, this beautifully illustrated book teaches a lesson simply and thoughtfully. I look forward to reading it aloud to children.

3 comments:

  1. ah, kindness...the thing that is sweeter even than chocolate.

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  2. ... and kindness comes at such an affordable price.

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  3. Ran into Lynn today at the Red Balloon buying this book!

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