Review: Because of You by B. G. Hennessy

because of you

Because of You: A Book of Kindness by B. G. Hennessy, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

This book speaks to the power of people in two distinct ways.  It speaks in pairs of lines that have similar themes but look at them from different points of view.  So the world is better for having a new person to love and care for, but also the world is better because there is a new person who will love and care for others.  This pairing happens throughout the book, strengthening the message that each person has value and impact in the world.  The book ends with the breaking of the pattern where it is expanded to include the impact of people around the world helping and caring.   “It is called peace.”  And then the book turns it once again and tells the reader that peace starts with individuals and it may happen “because of you.”

This book is written with conviction that radiates throughout it.  It also has a very strong format with the repetition of form.  It reads aloud effortlessly, celebrating the impact that each of us can have.  Nakata’s illustrations are quiet and sweet, a feeling that is helped by the small size of the book.  They include children and families of different ethnicities making the message even more universal.

While this will be enjoyed by children, it would also make a great gift for adults.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Candlewick Press.