Trudy Ludwig has been a favorite children’s author of mine since I met her in the mid-2000s. Her books present wonderful life lessons to help children deal with bullying and stand up for themselves in an assertive, rather than aggressive, way.
Her latest book is The Power of One – Every Act of Kindness Counts. The story is about all the small ways we can be kind, build friendships, and grow a caring community.
The text shares specific things we can do for others while the illustrations show seeds being planted which eventually turn into a thriving community garden. The illustrations by Mike Curato are beautiful. As the characters in the story plant seeds, Curato’s pictures bring the garden to life and shows the joy of building a positive community.
Trudy also includes information for adults in the back of the book on simple ways to grow a positive community through actions like “including the excluded in your group, game, or activity” and “having the courage to take responsibility for intentional/unintentional wrongdoing by apologizing and making up for the hurt you’ve caused others.”
My favorite part in the story is when she says, “One good listener…can make even the smallest voice heard.” Listening to others is one of the most powerful things we can do to make all children and adults feel welcome and appreciated. Getting children to think about the importance of listening is a critical step in stopping bullying, understanding different perspectives, and creating a safe social culture where children can thrive.
“You don’t have to be a superhero to be a hero in another kid’s eyes,” says Trudy. “It all starts with each of us reaching out in kind ways to make a positive difference in others’ lives. And the more acts of kindness we do, the better we become in improving our relationships with one another and our communities.”