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Be Kind

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A picture book about the power of kindness.

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference--or at least help a friend.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published February 6, 2018

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About the author

Pat Zietlow Miller

21 books230 followers
Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)

Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Then, she joined an insurance company and edited its newsletter and magazine.

Now, she writes insurance information by day and children’s books by night. She has 11 picture books available and 12 more that will be coming out in the next few years.


Pat has one wonderful husband, two delightful daughters and two pampered cats. She doesn’t watch much TV, but she does love "Chopped." Pat lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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5 stars
2,335 (61%)
4 stars
1,094 (28%)
3 stars
301 (7%)
2 stars
64 (1%)
1 star
28 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 701 reviews
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,027 reviews374 followers
October 7, 2019
The Power of Kindness

Be Kind and change the world!

This book is a Gem 😍

Deserves all the Stars in the Galaxy!🤩🤩🤩...
Profile Image for Calista.
4,069 reviews31.3k followers
May 15, 2018
It's easy to be Kind, but it's quite another to figure out how to be kind. It can be quite complicated. This warm little book explores how complex these 2 little words can be. I think this shows there needs to be real contemplation on the issue.

This book is so beautiful. It has a simple message. It explores the issue deeply for a quick book. I'm sold on it.

The kids enjoyed the story too. They started trying to think of things to do to be kind in the situations. It was fun to hear.
Profile Image for Dez the Bookworm.
268 reviews113 followers
November 25, 2022
What a powerful message of kindness.

I loved this story. Spreading kindness is such a big deal in today’s society. I loved that I was able to read a story about how some kids were unkind and how we can do things to BE KIND. The examples were great and my daughter loved this story.
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,262 reviews404 followers
May 27, 2022
A nice book about being kind. I liked the simple suggestion of just saying hello and using someone's name.

I would have liked to have seen some suggestions for being kind to the environment and some better examples of being kind to animals ( there was one example of this, the little girl wipes the class guinea pigs mouth, they don't need this but it would have been good for her to have appreciated he needed to get out of his cage perhaps and go in a run)

A nice starting point to talking about ways to be kind.
Profile Image for Jillian Heise.
2,320 reviews483 followers
January 24, 2018
A thoughtful, introspective look at what it means to be kind and empathetic toward others, from the viewpoint of a child. A must-share for every classroom.
ETA: I shared with students, and many of their comments related to an appreciation that the book is concrete in sharing specific little things they can do to show kindness. The little gestures matter a lot. Another 4th grader said, "it's inspiring"
June 11, 2021
شاید فقط کارهای کوچک از دستم بربیاید.
اما کارهای کوچک من می‌تواند با کارهای کوچک بقیه‌ی آدم‌ها جمع شود.
و همه‌شان با هم تبدیل شوند به یک چیز بزرگ.
یک چیز خیلی بزرگ.
آن‌قدر بزرگ که همه‌ی مهربانی‌هایمان از مدرسه سرریز شود...
توی شهر بپیچد...
همه‌جای کشور بگردد...
همین‌جور برود و برود...
دور تا دور دنیا...
تا دوباره برسد به من و تانیشا.
این‌طوری ما هم می‌توانیم مهربان باشیم.
و دوباره...
و دوباره.
Profile Image for Angie Hull.
42 reviews9 followers
July 25, 2017
Two simple words - Be Kind!
Three simple words - READ THIS BOOK!
Three more simple words - SHARE WITH EVERYONE!

I received an Advanced Reading Copy in order to give this review.

This amazing picture book brings to light the importance of small acts of kindness and how small acts of kindness can grow to make a really big impact. This will be shared every year with the students I teach! Beautiful pictures meet the perfect words to create this fantastic story.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,406 followers
October 21, 2020
I just cannot get enough of this picture book. I read it for the first time in 2018 I guess.
This book reminds me how I can be kind with the simplest gestures. If we adults do not know how to be kind, I do not know how to teach kids on how to be kind. This one is one good book to read along with kids.
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
855 reviews453 followers
February 21, 2022
Back again at reading children's books with my two elementary school ESL students and this one ended up being not only their favourite but my favourite pick as well. Lovely story, lovely message and lovely illustrations.
Profile Image for Hákon Gunnarsson.
Author 27 books134 followers
September 24, 2020
One of the narrators classmates is having a bad day, and she starts to think about what being kind to someone means.

It is a nice book with a positive message for kids, and the illustrations are quite good as well.
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,251 reviews3,562 followers
December 3, 2018
This is a really sweet book. What starts out as a little girl wondering how to help her upset friend turns into a gentle meditation on kindness, and shows the reader all the little things--just small acts of kindness--that can have a ripple effect in the world. Sometimes it's offering a helping hand; other times, it's as simple as addressing someone by name.

In today's world, books like this are a welcome breath of fresh air. We shouldn't need to be reminded to be kind, but sometimes we do. This book demonstrates the little acts of kindness that all of us can do (even when it's not convenient, or even a little scary), showing people being kind through charming illustrations. The cast of characters is very diverse, and the overall message is... well, kind.

This is definitely one to check out.

Quotable moment:

Be Kind
Profile Image for Erin.
3,825 reviews46 followers
April 2, 2018
What begins as "the grape-juice incident" quickly morphs into a young person's musings on what it means to be kind. Sometimes being kind means different things to different people, and the impact of one small kindness can be felt long after the original action. Delightful.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,037 reviews2,387 followers
November 8, 2019
When a young girl sees a classmate having a bad day, she muses on what it means to be kind.

I liked the artwork by Jen Hill.

Profile Image for Kristen.
174 reviews
February 14, 2018
Looks really simple from the outside, but there is nothing simple about this book. Fresh take on the “be kind” theme!
Profile Image for Dawn.
531 reviews9 followers
March 7, 2018
The message of kindness is relatable to children. The illustrations and wonderful.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,174 reviews187 followers
January 14, 2020
What does it mean to be kind? What should one do, to be kind? Is it a simple matter, a complex one, or perhaps a little of both? These are some of the questions addressed in author Pat Zietlow Miller's appropriately named new picture-book, Be Kind. Opening as the young narrator witnesses a classmate and friend's embarrassment, at having spilled grape juice all over herself, it considers how best to help in such a situation, before broadening the narrative to encompass the topic of kindness in general.

Small acts can radiate out from their source, having an impact on the wider world, before returning again to their origin, something that Miller highlights in her text. Although more explicitly didactic than some books I have seen that address the issue of kindness, the narrative of Be Kind never feels preachy or moralistic. Rather, it feels... kind. The artwork by Jen Hill, who also contributed illustrations to Elisa Carbone's Diana's White House Garden , is appealing and expressive, capturing the narrator's feelings at various key points, from the uncertainty of confronting a bully, to the frustration of attempting to teach someone a difficult skill. Recommended to anyone looking for new children's books about the subject of compassion and kindness to others, with the further recommendation that it be paired with a more story-driven title like Each Kindness , by Jacqueline Woodson.
Profile Image for Margaret.
2,556 reviews
February 18, 2018
Every day when we wake up is an opportunity; an opportunity to make a difference. We make a difference with a goodbye hug for family members, a smile at a stranger, a wave to a neighbor and words of encouragement to those we teach. A single act of kindness can change a day not just for one individual but for many. That single act is like the proverbial pebble dropped in water; it ripples outward.

Cultivating a habit of being kind is one of the single best things we can do for others and for us. Be Kind (Roaring Brook Press, February 6, 2018) written by Pat Zietlow Miller with illustrations by Jen Hill is a gentle story of a child discovering the many ways to express kindness. It begins with an unfortunate incident.

My full recommendation: http://librariansquest.blogspot.com/2...
Profile Image for Brandi.
1,047 reviews9 followers
February 18, 2018
I randomly found this in a bookstore and was caught by the cover and title. Then I actually read it and really loved the story and its message. This is not a preachy book, just a good message for kids—and humans in general: be kind, the many possible ways to do that, and how its effects can spread. All said in a way that kids can understand. Plus, there’s a lot of purple in it, which I love. 💜
I enjoyed this book so much, I bought a copy for my nieces. I don’t think I can recommend this book more than that.
Profile Image for Arminzerella.
3,745 reviews87 followers
May 3, 2018
A young girl contemplates what kindness might be and what forms it could take after one of her classmates, Tanisha, spills grape juice on her new dress and everyone else laughs at her. The girl tries to think of something to say to make Tanisha feel better, but all that comes out is "Purple is my favorite color," which makes Tanisha run out of the room. We definitely need more kindness in the world and having discussions with young folks about what kindness is and how we can be more kind can help. Share this contemplative picture book widely with both groups and individuals.
Profile Image for Ellen.
104 reviews2 followers
February 14, 2018
Oh goodness is this a fabulous book! Told from the viewpoint of a child, this story tells of ways to be kind and empathetic towards others. The little things can make a huge difference. It jumps up the list as one of my favorite books. I can't wait to read this book to my class!
Profile Image for Angela De Groot.
2,274 reviews5 followers
March 24, 2018
Sweet story about random and purposeful acts of kindness and how they can make a difference to someone's world. Kindness is contagious.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,580 reviews21 followers
September 5, 2018
I love the idea of this book. It goes into what kindness actually means and how one small kindness can gradually snowball to a giant snowball.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
745 reviews42 followers
October 14, 2020
I really loved this book. Obviously no one can really object to the core message of this book--be kind. However there are umpteen children's books about being kind, and few are as effective in conveying their message as this story is.

Here are a few things this book does to help teach children what it means to be kind.

1. It frames kindness as a conscious act, something that requires thought and effort. Kindness isn't always easy:

"Everyone laughed. I almost did too, but Mom always tells me to be kind, so I tried."

"Sticking up for someone when other kids aren't kind is really hard (and really scary)."

2. Sometimes your first attempt to be kind to someone won't be successful, but that doesn't mean you stop trying, or that you failed:

I don't think it worked. I said "purple is my favourite colour." I thought Tanisha would smile, but she ran into the hall instead.

Later on the boy realizes:

Maybe I can't solve Tanisha's grape juice problem. Maybe all I can do is sit by her in art class. And paint this picture for her. Because I know she likes purple too.

3. Kindness can take many forms, and it requires us to recognize the needs of the situation/person in front of us:

Maybe it's giving: Making cookies for Mr. Rinaldi, who lives alone. Or letting someone with smaller feet have my too-tight shoes.

Maybe it's helping: Putting dirty dishes in the sink. Cleaning up after Otis, our class guinea pig (he's a messy eater).

Maybe it's paying attention: Telling Donald I like his blue boots. Asking the new girl to be my partner. Listening to aunt Franny's stories (even the ones I've head before).

4. There are small, easy ways to be kind, that you can make a habit of: Saying thank you, bless you, using people's names when you speak to them

5. Small acts of kindness matter, and can grow into something bigger and even spread around the world.

This is the perfect book to start a class discussion about kindness: it raises questions, gives suggestions, and frames kindness in a way that kids will understand.
Profile Image for Barbara.
13.2k reviews277 followers
April 21, 2018
Since my students and I had recently read and discussed Wonder by R. J. Palacio, I was excited to read this picture book. After all, it explores what it means to be kind and how sometimes a kind action may even be misinterpreted. But choosing to be kind might be as easy as doing or saying small things that add up to a lot or make a difference in someone's life. After Tanisha ruins her new dress with a grape juice spill, the narrator doesn't laugh like the rest of their classmates, but tries to say something kind about her favorite color being purple. When that statement doesn't help even though she has good intentions, the narrator then begins to ponder specific actions she could have taken and what it means to be kind. After considering various ways in which she might treat others with kindness, she concludes that it is likely that she can do so in small but meaningful ways such as painting a picture for her friend. She imagines the impact that each kindness will have on others, even spreading across the world. The illustrations portray perfectly the emotions of the characters with Tanisha's body and facial expressions indicating how forlorn she feels and the narrator's demonstrating concern yet hesitation about what to do. This one will prompt plenty of discussion and perhaps an outpouring of kindness toward others. One of the aspects that I liked about this book is how thoughtfully the narrator considers the situation before taking action after her first attempt was unsuccessful. Perhaps kindness necessitates going that extra mile for someone, even when we mess up. This one might be perfect for sharing alongside Jacqueline Woodson's Each Kindness and other books that grapple with the impact of our small and large actions toward others.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 701 reviews

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