Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup

Kindness Grows is a beautifully illustrated picture book which uses the analogy of a tree to demonstrate the difference between a crack developing in a relationship when we are unkind and the blossoming of a relationship when we care. In a world that is polluted by selfishness and disrespect the book gives readers, young and old, a reminder that their actions and attitudes towards others can have a huge impact.

The first double spread shows a small tree, just a twig in the ground. On the left side of the spread are two children arguing, creating a very small crack in their relationship that nobody can yet see. The right side of the spread shows two children being kind to each other and the very small tree between them has two leaves. The book continues this way with the crack widening on the left and the tree growing on the right.

The number of children in each spread grows throughout the book but the actions and attitudes on the left spread are in stark contrast to the actions and attitudes on the right. When the crack gets too wide the children on the right are shown reaching out to the children on the left and by the end of the book the children are shown dancing together around the tree.

The rhyming text is simple and easy to read. It shows that arguing, leaving friends out and not sharing can all lead to escalating anger and an inability to know how to deal with the widening crack in a relationship. Showing kindness, sharing, playing together and leaning in one another leads to our relationships growing and blossoming like a tree – a lovely image, especially in autumn. 

The colours in the illustrations are in stark contrast on each side of the spread. Dark colours and horrible weather are used to represent unkind words and actions in comparison to the bold, beautiful colours of a tree which blossoms and produces apples.

We love the cutout on each page which shows the crack / tree growing and it’s fun to ‘go through a door’ to see what is on the final double spread.

Kindness Grows is a great book to use in the classroom to stimulate discussions about how we can spread kindness and help each other to build friendships and positive relationships.

Age Range: 3 +

Author / Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending a copy of Kindness Grows. It’s a thought provoking book for readers of all ages.

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