Every Little Kindness is a gorgeous wordless picture book that shows how a small act of kindness can spread. The book opens with a girl preparing posters of her lost dog to place around town. Along her way, she offers an apple to a street musician. A passerby sees this gesture and follows suit by picking up garbage. This action is seen by a small boy who in turn buys a balloon for a girl whose balloon has floated away. The chain of kind deeds continues throughout the book and comes full-circle when someone returns the lost dog to its owner.

The illustrations, created in pencil, ink, acrylic, and watercolor are primarily gray hues with accents of red, yellow, and blue. The city setting is muted and soft, while the doer of each kind action is highlighted with an article of red. This draws the eye to the important action in this wordless story. The effect of the color scheme is also to show how hope and beauty can be found even in dreary surroundings, or difficult situations.

Every Little Kindness is a stellar example of the power of a wordless book to communicate both a plot and theme with absolute clarity. Not only is this book a joy to experience, but it is an excellent tool for helping young people practice visual literacy. The illustrations are winsome, drawing the reader into the story of each character, especially the lost dog and its owner. Overall, this book is an excellent addition to any collection for young readers.

Every Little Kindness
By Marta Bartolj
Chronicle Books, 2021
ISBN: 9781797207926
Publisher Age Rating: 5-8

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Picture Books (3-8)
Creator Representation: Slovak

  • Kelly

    | She/Her Library Information Specialist, South Park Elementary School


    Kelly Jahng has studied English, history, and French, and taught middle school for sixteen years.She earned a masters in education along the way before changing hats and earning her MLIS at San Jose State University.She now works as the Library Information Specialist at South Park Elementary School in Deerfield, IL.She loves to collaborate with teachers in the school learning commons and to help students create in the makerspace.In her spare time, she loves to travel, enjoy theatre, read and review youth and YA literature, and write the occasional post for various blogs.

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