Each Kindness, by Jaqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, is the beautiful and honest story about Maya, the new girl in school. It is told from the perspective of Chloe, a girl in Maya’s class. Despite her sweet and generous personality, Chloe and her friends continually reject and make fun of Maya for her shabby clothes and the strange food she brings for lunch. One day, Maya doesn’t come to school. Their teacher gives a lesson about kindness, demonstrating that even the smallest pebble creates ripples that go out into the world. Each child drops the pebble in the water and shares a kind thing they have done. But Chloe cannot think of a single thing. She decides to start smiling back at Maya, but Maya never comes back to school. Chloe is crushed when she realizes that she can never right the wrongs against Maya.
This book is perfect for elementary school children, girls especially. Boys could benefit, too, but girls at that age are often so thoughtlessly mean. The text is simple, yet beautiful and the pictures vividly convey the emotions of the characters. This book would be the perfect way to gently remind a child of the importance of each kindness, however small.
-Reviewed by: Morgan Keel