Be Kind by Monique le Roux
Molly Mouse gets up to all sorts with her friends; she has fun, meets new people in the neighbourhood, but most importantly, she learns how to be kind through testing circumstances.
This story, self-published by the author, sees a range of different, young narrators think up beautiful solutions to challenging everyday solutions. The children ponder how to overcome waking up grumpy, anxiety, homelessness and poverty, among other situations. The importance of being empathetic, compassionate and kind becomes more and more evident as the story progresses.
Le Roux imparts important messages, without being overly preachy or holier than thou.
The vibrant illustrations, by Kwok Yi Lee, are loaded with interesting things to spot. Molly Mouse is of course hidden within each page, but so are plenty of other creatures, including a skateboarding worm and a fork-wielding kiwi, that will delight. Author and illustrator have worked together, incorporating the key message from each narrator into the illustration itself; planes that sky-write the key point, or spray paint on the side of a wall for example.
Of course in a book about kindness, diversity needs to be front and centre and it does not fail. There's a person who uses a wheelchair, a hearing aid, different skin tones and body shapes and sizes.
It's a nice book to start conversations with your children. How were they kind today? What would you do in this situation?
Be Kind is a simple, yet powerful story, that will help our children understand the importance of diversity and how to act in situations they may not be familiar with, around people who are different to them.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell Monique le Roux, RRP $20