Friday, 1 January 2021

We Are All Kind

We Are All Kind by P. Crumble, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley (Omnibus Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9781760972363

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

This follow-up to 2018’s We Are All Equal shows its young audience the many ways to be kind, using rhyming couplets illustrated by charming animal scenes. Kindness is approached in a creative and expansive way, inviting the reader to broaden their own sense of what it means to be kind. Alongside friendliness, helpfulness and sharing, for example, We Are All Kind covers inclusion, forgiveness, and hospitality.

For those most familiar with P Crumble’s work through Kevin the custard-obsessed cat, this book will probably be a surprise. We Are All Kind is sweet and sincere, with none of the sarcastic humour and thematic subtlety of the Cat books. That said, one spread packs a punch, starkly criticising humanity’s destruction of the environment in pursuit of wealth and influence. 

The illustrations are captivating and carry the book through some spreads where the text feels forced to achieve the rhyme. From heart-warming expressions of pure love and joy to a heartbreaking portrayal of a hungry donkey, the drawings by themselves are enough to keep a reader returning to the pages.

Toddlers, pre-schoolers, and children in the early school years will adore this reassuring, calm and gorgeous book. Parents and teachers will find a wealth of ideas to explore using the text as a springboard. Be prepared to read aloud on repeat.

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