Humble and Kind

Akashic. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781617758522.
PreS-K–Into the recent trend of picture books based on pop songs—from folklore to rock—comes this entry, with soft focus illustrations and charming scenes of a biracial family of five working around the home, gathering, shopping, building a treehouse, and more. The lyrics of McKenna’s song—“You know there’s a light that glows by the front door”—wrap and frame these scenes like photos from an album; the father has light brown skin, the mother tan, and their children share similar facial features and skin tones. But it’s not their looks that make them a family; it’s the casual way they are posed, with a baby up on the father’s shoulder, the brother pushing a wagon, their postures leaning in to one another, and a spirit of love and cooperation in every scene. There isn’t a narrative arc, in text or in pictures, but the atmosphere is snug, and for fans of the song, which reflects the tenets of many world religions and mentions a church is otherwise secular.
VERDICT Children will feel reassured by the sentiments within this expressive extension of the music, and a sweet daydream of a picture book.

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