Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, beautifully illustrated by E.B. Lewis, is the kind of book that would spark discussion and deep thought in any classroom community. It imparts a powerful message about the importance of showing kindness in all our actions, and the far-reaching effects even small acts of kindness (or unkindness) can have. I think this is the kind of book that could be returned to often in a classroom for many purposes. Being reminded that “Each kindness..makes the world a little bit better” was an inspiring way for me to enter a new year.
There are many books written about Helen Keller and her relationship with Annie Sullivan, but Annie and Helen by Deborah Hopkinson (illustrated by Raul Colon) is a treasure. Not only does Hopkinson tell the story of how this incredible relationship began, but she includes excerpts from letters Annie wrote to a friend and former teacher. The end pages contain photographs of Annie and Helen. As I read this book I found myself in awe once again of these two inspiring women, and I was reminded of the challenges and privileges we have as teachers.
Kindness, tolerance, courage, perseverance – wonderful lessons for the start of a very good year!