Christian readers will enjoy the spiritual overtones in Billington’s writing, including her explanation of Luke 6:31—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”—as the basis for the Golden Rule. She advises younger readers to make an effort to help others, offering ideas such as volunteering at a local soup kitchen or caretaking pets at the animal shelter, and ties that kindness into God “smil[ing] on us from above!” The prose brims with positivity and cheerfulness, and Billington’s brightly colored graphics add to the enthusiasm: the characters are portrayed as joyful and united in their goals to give to others, particularly when they are depicted rescuing a puppy from the shelter and providing meals to the elderly, lending buoyancy and optimism to Billington’s rhyming text that, at times, feels a bit forced.
Despite the story’s America-centered focus, Billington spotlights diversity in her illustrations and acknowledges a need for community goodwill—a welcome theme for contemporary readers. Billington’s emphasis on “when I want good things to happen to me, I am good to people and animals too,” opens the door for adults and children to brainstorm ways they can help others while drawing attention to the intrinsic value of being kind, an uplifting message that forms the cornerstone of this simple story.
Takeaway: A Christian explanation of why the Golden Rule is important.
Great for fans of: Laura Wifler’s Like Me, Champ Thornton’s Why Do We Say Thank You?
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B