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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Words and Your Heart, written and illustrated by Kate Jane Neal. Feiwel and Friends, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2018. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"But sometimes words
can make us cry.

(We all know what sort
of words those are.)

You see, sometimes words
can be like a deadly arrow ...

that can pierce someone's

If you are a living, breathing human being, you know the power that words have to empower, engage, and uplift, as well as to bruise, batter, and damage each one of us. Words are important, and how we choose to use them should be top of mind at all times. It is not easy to remember that. But, it is worth every effort we make to ensure that our hearts are in the right place when speaking to others.

Kate Jane Neal wants her young readers to understand that power, and to use it for good. It turns out that bullying, shaming and name-calling can hurt our hearts, and too many children and adults are feeling the results of that these days. It will take a concentrated effort and a strong dose of kindness to change ways and make the world a better place for every human being.

"If someone feels sad,
your words can
cheer them up!

If someone feels weak,
your words can help them feel stronger.

If someone wants to give up,
your words can help them keep going."

It is a concentrated effort that is needed. We all know this; we need everyone to believe it. Sharing this book might just make one child think more clearly about kindness. Or maybe many more! Isn't it worth trying? Can we each help make our world a better place? I think so.

White backgrounds, a red heart, and cheerful, uplifting characters highlight the joy to be found in just the right words and actions.

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