Every Little Kindness by Marta Bartolj (9781797207926)
This wordless picture book shows how one act of kindness can turn into a chain of goodness that impacts an entire community and comes full circle. A woman wakes up in the morning to a stack of missing dog flyers. As she is hanging her flyers, she grabs a red apple from her bag. She decides to give it to a busker in the square. A man who saw that kindness smiles and picks up some litter. A little boy who sees that in turn helps a little girl who lost her balloon. One by one, a lost key is returned to its owner, an umbrella is shared in the rain, toys are shared, flowers are gifted. Finally. someone finds the dog and returns him too.
The illustrations in this wordless picture book tell the entire story, so it is critical that they clearly share large and small emotions. From the sorrow of losing a pet to the discovery of small acts of kindness, the illustrations show the way that kindness impacts people. The use of color is cleverly done with most of the illustrations in blacks and grays. Touches of red show kindness happening or people who have been impacted by kindness. By the end of the book the gray city has been lit with red all over.
This is a wordless book that works well for elementary-aged children due to the depth of its subject matter. There is great pleasure in following the color through the book, seeing who notices the kindness and who benefits from it as it passes through their lives.
Subtle, lovely and filled with goodness and community. Appropriate for ages 4-8.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Chronicle Books.