cover image KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day

KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day

Vera Ahiyya, illus. by Joey Chou. Random House Studio, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-48462-3

Teacher and social media influencer Ahiyya tunes into her upbeat, proactively compassionate vibe in this story of an introverted kindergartner tenderly guided through an uncertain first day by a teacher devoted to the power of kindness. When “quiet” student Leo, portrayed with light brown skin, is greeted by his Black-cued teacher Ms. Perry, who asks if he’s ready for his first day, he whispers, “I’m not sure.” But Ms. Perry reassures him and introduces him to a new friend before inviting the entire class to join in creating a Kindness Pledge, writing down the things they’ll do to “make our kindergarten classroom a KINDergarten.” Though Leo’s reserve continues, the class garners a sizable list by the end of the day, including some entries that take Leo by surprise—and make him feel more confident about coming back for day two, just as he is. A diverse class of children engages in lively discussions as they tour the school, head outdoors for recess, and draw pictures in Chou’s energetic scenes, digitally painted in vivid hues. A Kindness Pledge poster and author’s note are included. Ages 4–8. (June)