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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What is kindness? How do we share it and pass it on? Have you ever thought of kindness like a chain of dominoes? Well, in so many ways, it is. Why? Because once you do an act of kindness, you encourage others to do the same, and the acts of kindness multiply. Remember, “Kindness is contagious./ When you catch it…/ Pass it on!” But what is kindness? A simple act of caring, like opening a door for someone, helping someone younger tie a shoe, spending some time with the elderly, the sick, or the shut-ins.
Michelle Schaub’s picture book story, Kindness is a Kite String: The Uplifting Power of Empathy, is a clever way to teach young readers how easy and rewarding it is to share kindness. The story is told in rhyming verse and uses lots of similes and metaphors, literary traits to help explain and describe an abstract concept. The story begins with the simple act of giving someone you love a hug. Beginning a new day, a family shows different ways of sharing kindness by helping each other start another day. Once at school, the children pass on the kindness to other students and the acts of kindness continue like a chain of dominoes.
Michelle Schaub is careful to include many different cultures and even children with special needs, like a wheelchair-bound child sharing kindness. At the end of the book, the author describes the literary techniques of using similes and metaphors and includes some challenges to find examples of similes and metaphors in the story and even create some examples on their own. Kindness is a Kite String is a great interactive book to help young readers understand and appreciate the abstract, but very important, concept of kindness.