cover image When We Are Kind

When We Are Kind

Monique Gray Smith, illus. by Nicole Neidhardt. Orca, $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4598-2522-2

This gentle picture book extols the virtues of kindness in spare prose relayed through a first-person perspective. Smith (who is of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent) employs the refrain “I am kind when” throughout the book’s first half, showcasing different methods of helpfulness and generosity: “I am kind when I/ bring food to my Elders.” The second half, in phrases beginning “I feel,” emphasizes how the speaker feels when kindness is reciprocated: “I feel loved/ when my Elders are kind to me.” Streamlined digital illustrations by Neidhardt (who has maternal Diné heritage) portray an inclusive cast interacting, notably centering Indigenous families and characters of color in personal and communal activities—and encouraging readers to evaluate their actions toward others. Ages 3–5. [em](Oct.) [/em]