The Picture Book Buzz

Share Some Kindess, Bring Some Light - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

In a rare wander through Barnes and Noble, I found a book published in 2020 that I hadn't seen before. How did I miss this one? It was even a NY Times Best Seller. Anyway, it feels so relevant today as we 'come out of the darkness' in so many ways. And a great celebration of Friday dance parties. It's a sweet book on discovering friends and the true meaning of kindness.


Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light


Author/Illustrator: Apryl Stott


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2020)


Ages: 4-8


Fiction


Themes:

Kindness, compassion, helping others, and friendship.


Synopsis:

​A little girl and her friend Bear learn the true meaning of selfless kindness in this sweet, stunningly illustrated debut picture book.


Bear is sad. All the other animals think he’s mean because he’s so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him. Coco shares her grandmother’s advice: “When life gets dark as winter’s night, share some kindness, bring some light.”


They decide to bake cookies to “share some kindness” and make lanterns to “bring some light.” But when the cookies and lanterns don’t work, they must look for another way to win over the other animals. And while they’re at it, Coco and Bear just might discover that kindness is a gift that only comes from the heart.


Opening Lines:

Coco and Bear were friends from almost the first time they met.

They were very different: Bear was big. Coco was small. Bear

was shy. Coco was brave.


But they were exactly alike in the most important way.

"I like that you're kind," said Coco.


What I LOVED about this book:

The cover immediately snagged my attention and I fell in love with Bear's face and Coco's personality. I mean, just look at her tutu, tights, pompom boots and pointed hat! Not to mention her exclamation of, "Noodle Strudel." Such style and individuality.


When Bear confesses that the other animals are afraid of him, because big things "must be mean," Coco offers what always makes her feel better - a "big, tight hug." I love that it's the child helping Bear. Apryl's watercolor and digital ink illustrations are textured, wonderfully woodsy, softly colored, and so tender. The facial expressions of the characters tug at your heart with both compassion and happiness throughout the book.

Text & Image © Apryl Stott, 2020.


After their hug, Coco remembers her grandmother's saying, (in the form of a sampler) -


When Life Gets Dark

As Winter's Night,

Share Some Kindness,

Bring Some Light.


But how does one share kindness? Cookies, of course! And bringing light? Why, by building lanterns. I really love this wordless spread! Their joy just radiates off the page. And Apryl's scattered some fun treats throughout. Like the bear & girl Russian dolls over the oven, the pompom garland, and the "Welcome Friends" door mat (on the next page)!

Text & Image © Apryl Stott, 2020.


But as life recently demonstrated, things often don't go as planned. With Coco's encouragement, Bear overcomes his shyness and they head out to deliver 'kindness.' Only to discover, Badger was not impressed with wormless cookies or bright lanterns. And Rabbit, Hedgehog, and Skunk, each refused to fall for what they were sure was a "trick." Abandoning the cookies and lanterns, Coco and Bear head home. When they hear a cry for help and find a baby deer stuck in a deep snow bank.


An amazing scene greets them when Bear carries the baby deer and Coco back toward the others. Everyone learns a little about friendship, trust, and kindness. And also something special about Bear. But you're going to have to read the book to figure that out and see the awesome ending spread. It's a touching book that reminds us all that caring kindness toward others can bring light to even the darkest nights. By the way, you are going to love the line drawings on the end pages. This is a delightful book as the days lengthen and maybe, just maybe, our crisis wanes. But also a great book to remind us to take a moment to stay in touch with friends and find ways to brighten someone else's day.


Resources:

- check out Apryl's printable directions for your own paper lantern, kindness books, lantern activity, kindness cards, &/or worksheet (https://www.aprylstottdesign.com/kindnessprintables).


- what can you do to spread some kindness and light? Make & bag some sugar cookies with special thank you tags for teachers? Can you think of other helpers?


- do a random of act of kindness. Leave friendly painted rocks around the neighborhood. Help without being asked. Send a card or postcard to a friend or family member.

- share a long distance hug with a friend or family member (https://afineparent.com/positive-parenting-faq/kindness-activities-for-kids.html ).




This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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