Each Kindness
Each Kindness

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Annotation: When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong to shun new student Maya and make fun of her shabby clothes.
Catalog Number: #52760
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2012
Illustrator: Lewis, Earl B.,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-24652-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-51290-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-24652-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-51290-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2011046800
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
At recess, Chloe pointedly gathers her best friends to share secrets while ignoring new-girl Maya's advances of friendship. Maya plays alone, seemingly unbowed by the ostracism, until one day, suddenly, she's gone. A silent, belatedly thoughtful Chloe regrets "each kindness I had never shown." Woodson's affecting story focuses on the withholding of friendship rather than outright bullying; Lewis reflects the pensive mood in sober watercolors.
Kirkus Reviews
Woodson and Lewis' latest collaboration unfolds with harsh beauty and the ominousness of opportunities lost. Narrator Chloe is a little grade-school diva who decides with casual hubris that the new girl, Maya, is just not good enough. Woodson shows through Chloe's own words how she and her friends completely ignore Maya, with her raggedy shoes and second-hand clothes, rebuffing her every overture. Readers never learn precisely why Chloe won't return Maya's smile or play jacks or jump rope with her. Those who have weathered the trenches of childhood understand that such decisions are not about reason; they are about power. The matter-of-fact tone of Chloe's narration paired against the illustrations' visual isolation of Maya creates its own tension. Finally, one day, a teacher demonstrates the ripple effect of kindness, inspiring Chloe--but Maya disappears from the classroom. Suddenly, Chloe is left holding a pebble with the weight of a stone tablet. She gets a hard lesson in missed opportunities. Ripples, good and bad, have repercussions. And sometimes second chances are only the stuff of dreams. Lewis dazzles with frame-worthy illustrations, masterful use of light guiding readers' emotional responses. Something of the flipside to the team's The Other Side (2001), this is a great book for teaching kindness. (Picture book. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly
When a new and clearly impoverished girl named Maya shows up at school (-Her coat was open and the clothes beneath it looked old and ragged-), Chloe and her friends brush off any attempt to befriend her. Even when Maya valiantly-and heartbreakingly-tries to fit in and entice the girls to play with her, she is rejected. Then one day, Maya is gone, and Chloe realizes that her -chance of a kindness- is -more and more forever gone.- Combining realism with shimmering impressionistic washes of color, Lewis turns readers into witnesses as kindness hangs in the balance in the
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 2-5 Always on-target navigating difficulties in human relationships, Woodson teams up with Lewis to deal a blow to the pervasive practice-among students of all economic backgrounds-of excluding those less fortunate. When a new student arrives midterm, head down, with broken sandals, she sits right next to Chloe, an African American girl. The teacher introduces the pigtailed new student as Maya, but hardly anyone says hello, nor does Chloe give a welcoming smile. Lyrical and stylistically tight writing act in perfect counterpoint to the gentle but detailed watercolor paintings of a diverse rural classroom. Chloe's best friends "this year" call Maya "Never New" because her clothes are always secondhand. Each time the cheerful, independent Maya invites the clique members to play, they refuse. Woodson's writing, full of revelation and short on reckoning, gives opportunity for countless inferences and deep discussion and dovetails with the illustrations of children's facial expressions from surprising angles, expansive countryside views, and pools of water and windows, which invite readers to pause, reflect, and empathize. When their teacher invites them to throw a pebble in water and watch the ripples radiate to symbolize an act of kindness they share with the class, Chloe stops. Maya no longer is there. Her family has had to move. Had Chloe been kind even once? With growing income disparity, and bullying on the rise, this story of remorse and lost opportunity arrives none too soon.&12; Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Starting with the title, this quiet, intense picture book is about the small actions that can haunt. As in collaborations such as Coming on Home Soon (2004), Woodson's spare, eloquent free verse and Lewis' beautiful, spacious watercolor paintings tell a story for young kids that will touch all ages. In a first-person voice, Chloe speaks about how a new girl in class, Maya, gets the empty seat next to her and tries to be friends. But Chloe and her clique will have none of the poor white kid in her old ragged clothes, and their meanness intensifies after Maya asks to play with them. Then Maya's family moves away, and she is "forever gone," leaving Chloe without the chance to put things right. Chloe's teacher spells out lessons of kindness, but the story is most powerful in the scenes of malicious bullying in the multiracial classroom and in the school yard. It is rare to tell a story of cruelty from the bully's viewpoint, and both the words and pictures powerfully evoke Chloe's shame and sorrow over the kindness she has not shown, as she looks at the empty seat next to her in the classroom, and then, alone and troubled, throws a stone in the water and watches the ripples move out and away. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The combined talents and star power of Woodson and Lewis will undoubtably create plenty of pre-pub. buzz.
Word Count: 865
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 153501 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.7 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q58592
Lexile: AD530L
Guided Reading Level: N


Each kindness makes the world a little better

This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.

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