Our mission at Kids are Kind Publishing is to bring books that portray children as the amazing, capable, and kind individuals that they intrinsically are to the forefront of the chapter book genre.
As many parents with young children have probably noticed, there is no shortage of beautiful children's picture books in print. They are often poetically or comically written, adorned with lovely illustrations, and almost always have a positive message. These books reassure children that they are loved. That they are capable. That they can do and be anything. They reflect the goodness within them and the great potential that lays ahead.
Then, as children tend to do, they got older. They often start reading independently at some point in elementary school, which is an exciting milestone! It’s around this time that readers move up to chapter books (longer stories that have chapters). For some reason, these positive, uplifting messages shift drastically in many of the books in this genre and exhibit a pattern of characters hating school, being unkind to their classmates, and generally, relentlessly, misbehaving. It’s as if these books are trying to appeal to the worst potential in kids, rather than their greatest.
We’re not denying that kids change as they get older. They tend to get a bit louder, messier, more opinionated, and more assertive in elementary school, but they’re also navigating complex social situations for the first time, becoming more self-aware, and testing out their newfound independence. It can be a confusing time for them. But none of that makes them bad. Through all of this, they are still the same amazing, intrinsically kind and capable kids they’ve always been.
We’ve advanced as a society to say, “No More!” to bullying, to be inclusive and boldly stand up to injustices. As teachers and parents, we work so hard to teach children right from wrong, to be courteous and respectful. We help them to feel empowered, capable, and confident. To be kind. Yet somehow, these values don't seem to be reflected in the mainstream books available specifically for the elementary age group.
Imagine if we used the influence that books have over their readers to inspire kids with examples of positive social interactions, and provide them with tools to navigate challenging scenarios? No drama, no negativity, no outdated stereotypes. Just fun stories of relatable kids going about their day being awesome humans to one another.