Each Kindness is a beautiful picture book with a powerful message about how we treat people and the regrets we may have. Written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, Each Kindness is told from the perspective of a young girl named Chloe who tells the story of what happened when a new girl named Maya joined her class in primary school (the book does not specify the grade but it appears to be about second or third grade).
Chloe recounts with brutal honesty how she shunned the new girl, made fun of her, and refused all attempts at friendship throughout the school year. When Ms. Albert, their teacher gives a lesson on kindness, Chloe wonders how much better the year could have been if she had shown Maya a little kindness and opened her heart to friendship.
Children can be brutal and Each Kindness if one of the most honestly written children’s books I’ve ever read. It’s not a book about a bunch of white racist kids victimizing a black kid. Nor is the book about a bunch of black boys bullying a hispanic kid. Race or color are not the issues.
Each Kindness is actually the story of a mixed race girl and her two friends (who appear to be asian and white) who are unkind to a poor, young Indian girl (although race is not specified in the book). Poverty is the basis for discrimination in this beautifully illustrated book that sends a powerful message that will stay with readers long after the last page has been turned.
Each kindness makes the whole world a little bit better.