K Is for Kindness

Viking. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593351628.
Toddler-PreS–Animals demonstrate everyday acts of compassion in this endearing alphabet book. The straightforward approach to the ABCs invites young readers and their caregivers to observe and engage as each page features a letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case, a sentence making extensive use of that letter (“Weasel knits Walrus a warm woolen sweater”), and an accompanying illustration. The rhyming couplets on each spread give the text an enjoyable read-aloud rhythm, and the soft pastel colors and delicate lines of the illustrations are a delight. Some vignettes feature animals engaging in activities that will be comfortably familiar to toddlers, like napping and playing, while others introduce potentially new ideas and vocabulary, such as juggling and origami. Though the concept of an alphabet book itself is not new, the Horiuchi siblings bring a fresh appeal to the genre with this book’s emphasis on incorporating kindness into daily life. The theme feels especially timely for today’s audience, as parents and caregivers increasingly seek to instill empathy as a core value. Adults and children are likely to revisit this book on multiple occasions, examining different facets each time.
VERDICT This cheerful volume successfully conveys a positive message of caring for others while simultaneously encouraging letter knowledge. A welcome addition to any picture book collection.

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