Author/Illustrator: Karin Littlewood
Age Group: 2-6
Synopsis: Small, random thoughts of kindness find their way to Immi and from her to the world around her.
The Low Down:
One of the hardest parts about raising a child is trying to filter what they are exposed to. I know that Bug will eventually witness the meanness, hate, and dishonesty that tend to flit selfishly about our world. As much as I wish I could prevent him from seeing any of that, as a parent my job is only to make sure he’s equipped to deal with such unwelcome attributes. So I try and provide good examples of kindness, love, and honesty. I carefully choose my words, I model it in how I speak to others, and I provide books that I feel are good examples these traits. I do not always succeed in being this paragon of virtue but I think that too is a lesson in itself. And when we witness something that I don’t agree with I talk to Bug about it, in hopes that when he does see things that I wish I could protect him from that he will be able to understand, resist, and expel such influences from his life and the lives of those around him. This week we’re going to be focusing on kindness, hope, and acceptance and I’m so excited to start out with Immi.
Immi is an Inuit girl who while fishing one day pulls a small wooden bird from the water. She’s surprised and pleased by the unexpectedly beautiful addition to her day. Additional items seem to find her and bring light into her life as she shares them with those around her. One day she drops her own charm into the fishing hole. Faraway as a boy goes to throw a beautiful object into the ocean, he notices a small white bear wash up on shore. The story ends leaving the reader to wonder about the outcome and the two main characters with whom we are presented but leaves no doubt in our minds as to the power of small random acts of kindness. It’s a powerful message that’s artfully told while respecting the reader’s ability to insinuate the meanings. While young readers will need to discussions to understand the implications of the story, it is written well and simply enough for older children to understand and even discuss the theme and moral.
Littlewood’s beautifully fluid style seems to flow from page to page. It hammers home the stark barrenness of Immi’s icy world and the lush vibrancy of the boy’s topical paradise. It alludes to the beauty and depths of world under the ice and makes the reader smile along as Immi’s world is brightened with each small gift of kindness. Each page seems to have a charm that is only enhanced by a rough sketch like quality that reminds me of a dream and that small acts of kindness can only be reality if we choose to make them a part of our own day to day life.
- This is a great introduction to talk about random acts of kindness. We’ve started doing this on a weekly basis in our home. Making an extra treat and delivering it to a neighbor, sharing balloons with children walking down the street, etc.
- In the US the story is under the title Immi’s Gift
I need more!
Karin Littlewood has a dazzling array of books that she’s illustrated and a few that’s she’s authored and illustrated. For more information about these check out her website: http://www.karinlittlewood.com
Add to my library:
US Amazon:Immi’s Gift