Woodson, Jacqueline, and Earl B. Lewis. Each Kindness. New York: Nancy Paulsen, 2012. 32 pages.
Each Kindness — Teaching Ethics to Children
Each Kindness is a wonderful picture book that through its use of illustrations by E.B. Lewis complements the story by Jaqueline Woodson and demonstrates the importance of kindness in a manner that is understandable to children. Each kindness is about a girl who is new to school and no one plays with her or even smiles at her. It can be inferred that they do not treat her kindly because she does not have the same material objects as they do. In the mind of a child this would be questioned as to why that matters. They would be able to read the story as a reflection of their own lives and understand what they are doing that could be harmful to others. The illustrations by E.B Lewis are helpful at aiding the process of children reflecting on their lives. He uses watercolor to create images that are realistic and look almost as though they themselves are reflections.
In addition an image in the book shows children’s reflections in water. This image causes children to reflect inward themselves as if they were looking at their own reflection. There they would begin to think about the philosophical topic of ethics. Ethics is concerned with how people aught to live. This children’s book raises the question to children about whether or not the children in the story are acting the manner they should. It gives the lesson that one should live kindly. The narrator learns this lesson through talking about kindness and reflects it to the listener of the story.
“This is what kindness does, Ms.Albert said. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.”