Sunday, August 7, 2022

Today's read... How Can We Be Kind? by Janet Halfmann

Today's read slides into the animal world, while delivering a message of kindness along the way. While I'm not the hugest fan of the cover (I can be picky), I did enjoy this read quite a bit. (Don't always judge a book by its cover, they say!)

Read on to discover the goodness and even take a peek. 

Wisdom From the Animal Kingdom
by Janet Halfmann
Illustrated by Darla Okada
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

This special book asks children a simple question: How Can We Be Kind? The answer is: by learning from the animal kingdom!

Animals demonstrate kindness and empathy towards each other, and care and compassion can be seen all throughout the natural world.

This book shows children the ways they can be kind just like animalsare to each other, while at the same time teaching them about the magic and the beauty of the natural world.

They can learn to be welcoming like capybaras, who let other animals sit on top of them while they wallow in mud.

Or perhaps they might want to be like dolphins, who guide other species to their destinations. Or maybe they would like to work together like ants and bees, share what they have like jackdaws or stick up for their friends like zebras.

With beautiful illustrations from Darla Okada, this beautiful picture book will enchant and entertain children time and time again. There are facts at the back about how each animal lives with and looks after its fellow creatures.


Hitting two directions at once, these pages introduce known and lesser known animals while showing how easy it is to simply 'be kind'.

This is a nicely illustrated book, which dives into the realm of animals in a fresh way. Various animals, some well-known and others not so much, are depicted in group settings. A natural habit of each animal group is depicted, which portrays 'kindness' such as sharing, offering support, or care. Each illustration holds a positive atmosphere. The animals are portrayed in an easy-to-recognize fashion while giving off a joyful vibe. The living environment also gains a bit of attention as the background demonstrates a bit of each creature's habitat.

The writing flows smoothly with only a short sentence on each page. It makes a lovely read-aloud and leaves room for discussions and comments along the way.  Plus, there's a 'Meet the Animals' at the end of the book to add more facts and tidbit fun.

The message is simple and clear, but thanks to the animals, doesn't come across as overly preachy, either. I could see some young listeners 'turning' into animals themselves, afterwards, and mimicking the habits...and probably going way beyond.

It's a cute read, which especially animal fans will enjoy. 

A few words from Janet...


I was inspired to write this story to add positive ways to look at the world. Since nature can be so calming and restoring, I spotlighted the positive ways animals react to one another as examples for all of us to follow

Educational Connections:

Empathy, compassion, caring, kindness, animal interactions, capybaras, European badgers, jackdaws, ants and bees, African elephants, prairie dogs, orangutans, blue manakins, white pelicans, emus, zebras, banded mongooses, dolphins, chimpanzees

A "Meet the Animals" section at the back of the book has facts about how each animal lives with and looks after its fellow creatures.

Learn more about Janet and the Illustrator, Darla Okada, on the following sites:

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