My teacher friend Nadia put me on to a pretty picture book about making the world a better place through good deeds. “It’s so simply written, and the message is huge!” she wrote to me. So of course I had to see a copy for myself, and looked forward to the arrival of Jack the Bear in the mail. It was a sweet read. Vancouver author and illustrator Christina Leist uses her animal characters, with some beautiful drawings made on recycled paper shopping bags, to convey to kids the power of a small act of kindness.
What made her an ambassador for the cause? “When I first came to Vancouver – I am originally from Germany – I was impressed by how nice people were to me,” Christina says. “Cars were stopping for me when I wanted to cross the street, people were apologizing.” (Yep, sounds to me like she found her way to Canada.) How did that motivate her? “I felt respected and cared for as a fellow human being. I wanted to belong to this group of people that made me feel so good, and I started to do the same for other people.”
That’s that chain of kindness we keep obsessing about.
And she decided to write a book for tiny tots. “I want to let the little ones know how simple manifesting positive change can be, that they have an important and powerful tool and never need to feel powerless.”
Christina adds that upcycling used shopping bags for her artwork is another way she sets an example: It doesn’t take much to change the world. Jack the Bear has been shortlisted for the Ontario Blue Spruce Award and the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year award.
So if you’re looking for reading material for the small people in your life, you may make a mighty impression with this little book.