Review Blog

Nov 11 2020

We are all kind by P. Crumble and Jonathon Bentley

cover image

Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781760972363.
Highly recommended. "I really really really . . . LOVE this beautiful book!" writes Magda Szubanski on the front cover and I really really really . . . think the same thing. I read it to my co-reviewers, a year 5 class, just to see if I was on track and yes, they agree.
Jonathon Bentley's illustrations delight the reader on the front cover and throughout. The smiles on the faces of the animals are full of interest, concern and suggest a team approach.
Each double page contains a 4 line verse beginning with repetition of "We are All KIND" with the second and fourth line rhyming. As each page is turned the same pattern and rhythm are repeated with a comforting poetic effect - delightful for the reader and delightful for the child.
Softly sketched and coloured illustrations of different animals appear on each page. The scenarios include lending a hand, the healing power of love, mending hurts, strangers becoming friends, hospitality, steadfastness, healing loneliness, sharing, inclusion and forgiveness. Larger themes about mutually caring for the earth and doing what is right as an individual in order to look after the group are the culmination of the book.
This book is worthy of multiple re-readings. It's so full of love and joy. I can see it as a home staple bed time story, a favourite in the Junior School library and on every discerning grandparents' shopping list. With values like this, presented by such an engaging author, read by a loving adult, the lucky child will be cocooned in kindness and motivated to do what is kind.
Wendy Jeffrey

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