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#MeBookoftheMonth October 2018 - Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

Kindness is such a big idea. So when I started writing Be Kind, my latest book, I was a little intimidated. How could I write about kindness in a way that would be accessible to everyone? I think the secret was starting with one small, everyday incident.

- Pat Zietlow Miller on Be Kind

Kindness. It’s a big word that can present itself in a multitude of ways. People interpret kindness as what they themselves value: some people see kindness as giving a helping hand to a stranger on the street, while some people see kindness as doing something meaningful or thoughtful for a loved one. As the book concludes, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Kindness is a lot of things.

Pat Zietlow Miller, in the aftermath of writing the book, realised that the unnamed narrator and main character of the story is very much like her when she was a child. Introspective and introverted, Miller was a shy kid who second-guessed herself quite often, especially among her more extroverted and more confident peers. Miller often reflected on situations and what she could have changed or done differently, but she grew to learn to trust her decisions, her choices, and her instincts.

What is this book about?

What begins as a classroom mishap slowly turns into a conversation revolving around kindness, and what that entails. How do we see kindness? How do others see it? And most importantly, how do we show kindness to someone else - especially one we don't know?

Be Kind is a charming story about a kid who, following what happens to someone in school, ponders the age-old question: What does it mean to be kind? The story details simple, seemingly small, acts of kindness that can snowball and collectively make up a kinder, more compassionate world as a whole.

We love it because...It’s such an incredibly uplifting book, filled with stunningly crayon-rich illustrations, recurrent touches of purple, and a rich diversity of people. So much depth in both the visuals and messaging - this book just makes you want to sprinkle the magic of kindness everywhere you go.

(Warning: the ending may make your heart melt. Just as it did ours.)

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