Try A Little Kindness (Henry Cole)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Try A Little Kindness by Henry Cole, a sweet and sometimes silly guide to simple acts of kindness.

Alternating between rhyming text, instructional sentences and vignetted dialogue, readers are encouraged to try to add a little kindness to their daily routines. First, they can start by waking up with a smile and a positive attitude. Examples such as sharing toys, giving hugs, being an ally and inviting someone to play are accompanied by whimsical illustrations of animals doing just those things. And when the day is done, you can feel good about having shared your kindness with others.

Mostly cute. I really enjoyed the various examples the story gives on how children can infuse goodwill into their days, especially in ways that are often overlooked or forgotten about (such as writing Thank You notes). The slightly haphazard jumps between text rhythms was a little jarring at times, but not so much that it couldn’t be gotten used to. My only main issue is apparently a selling point of the book – in many of the art sets that accompany the acts of kindness, there will be one vignette not like the others – such as a cat “opening to door for others” to a birdcage, or a chicken nervously “playing” with a gang of foxes – that is meant to provide humor but honestly sort of undercuts the message of the book. While this is the kind of gag that older kids would probably love, it flew over JJ’s head and was just sort of bothersome to me. However, for the most part, this is a great way to encourage little ones to find ways to be friendly, generous, and sweet, and it’s hard to argue with that. The length was fine, JJ enjoyed it, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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