When my children were little, I found myself saying to them, time and again, the Golden Rule, “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” But what do these words really mean to a four-year-old with limited life experience when it comes to dealing with others in considerate, compassionate ways? Saying this maxim is one thing; helping our little ones to truly understand what kindness actually looks and feels like, however, is quite another. That’s where What Does It Mean To Be Kind?, written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch, comes in.
This delightful picture book shows young readers that being kind is about having the courage to use your words and actions to help make our world a better place. And, as DiOrio shares in her book, those acts—whether small or large—do make a difference. Like a small pebble tossed in water, our acts of kindness have a ripple effect, modeling for others how they, too, can reach out in supportive, helpful, and thoughtful ways.
DiOrio further relays the important message that kindness isn’t something you only give to others; it’s also an important gift to give yourself. “Being kind,” she writes, “means allowing yourself to make and learn from your mistakes.”
With simple, straightforward text and adorable illustrations, What Does It Mean To Be Kind? is a great go-to resource for parents and caregivers to help children ages 4 to 8 easily understand what acts of kindness are all about. I highly recommend it!
Trudy Ludwig is a nationally acclaimed speaker and award-winning author of nine children’s books, including The Invisible Boy. Her work focuses on helping kids cope with and thrive in their social world. Trudy lives in Portland, OR, with her two great kids and kind hubby. You can find out more about her at trudyludwig.com.
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