Recommended for ages 3-8
Cara the Cat is practicing her ice skating routine and thinking of the perfect song for it when she notices Darby the Dog, who wants to skate, but is afraid to try. She helps Darby overcome his fear, telling him to “pass on the kindness”, setting off a chain of good deeds, with each friend helping someone else and telling them to “pass on the kindness”. The cycle of good deeds comes full circle when a friend creates a song especially for Cara’s performance. The story concentrates on the good feelings of paying it forward – doing a kindness for someone and asking others to do the same – and how karma works like a boomerang; it’s the old adage, “treat others as you would be treated”, brought to life with adorably drawn animal characters in situations that speak to young audiences.
Olympic medalist Kristi Yamaguchi has written children’s books before, featuring Little Pig (It’s a Big World, Little Pig! and Dream Big, Little Pig!), who inspired readers to follow their ambitions and dreams. Maybe Cara and Little Pig will meet up in a future story?
This is a good book to pair with other books on kindness, like Carol McCloud’s Have You Filled a Bucket Today? (“bucket filling” was huge when my tween was in elementary school), Philip Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and the classic fable, The Lion and the Mouse. Encourage kids to pay it forward by doing something nice for someone of their choosing.