Meet BE KIND, and maybe even win a copy!

BE KINDWriters write for lots of reasons.

We love words.

We love telling stories.

We love living in our heads.

We love sharing our thoughts.

We love seeing what we’ve written out in the world.

But no matter what else drives us, I think all of us, on some level, hope that what we write will make a difference.

That some one … who needs some thing … will read what we’ve written and find what they’ve been searching for.

Otherwise, why bother?

But we don’t always know. Did what we wrote connect with someone? Make them feel less alone? Or more capable? Calm them when they were anxious or inspire them when they were disheartened? Did it maybe just make them laugh when they needed to?

Books can do those things. That’s why there are so many. Because a book that one person shrugs their shoulders at and sets aside might be the book another person clings to like a lifeline. Or remembers as the one book they actually liked reading.

I’ve been lucky to hear from my readers.

I’ve gotten wonderful, adorable photos of children clutching their new squash friends thanks to SOPHIE’S SQUASH and SOPHIE’S SQUASH GO TO SCHOOL.

I’ve seen projects and poetry schools have created about Wilma Rudolph after reading THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE.

I’ve heard graduation and letting-go stories related to WHEREVER YOU GO.

And I’ve heard about Thanksgiving traditions and centerpieces inspired by SHARING THE BREAD.

It wasn’t something I expected. When my first book came out in 2013, I was so happy to have met my goal of publishing a picture book with a traditional publisher that I hadn’t given much thought to what would happen next. Real, live, actual readers were my biggest, happiest surprise.

And I don’t take that for granted. When I write, I try to tell a story that’s true to me in hopes that others will see that same truth. That’s what I hope will happen with my newest book BE KIND, which releases from Roaring Brook Press on Feb. 6 with illustrations by Jen Hill.

Maybe more than any other book I’ve written so far, this is the one that I hope will, somehow, be that thing that people need.

In BE KIND, I wrote about the world I’d like to live in. A world where people try to help others, and if it doesn’t work exactly as they planned, they try again. And their efforts inspire others resulting in more care and kindness than they could ever have anticipated. (Come to think of it, my book’s theme ties in nicely with Kevan Atteberry’s recent New Year’s post.)

And I hope, eventually, to hear from readers if BE KIND helped them in some way, whether it encouraged them to reach out to someone with an act of kindness or thank someone who was kind to them or to think how they could add some good to the world.

Would you like a copy? There’s A GIVEAWAY!

If you’d like the chance to win a signed copy of BE KIND, just leave a comment on this post. After a week, I’ll pick a random winner. (Congrats, by the way, to Rosi Hollinbeck, who won a copy of my book that released in January — WIDE-AWAKE BEAR.)

And, if you aren’t the winner, or if you just can’t wait to see if you are, you can order the book from your local indie bookstore or find it online here or here.

If you order it from this Madison, Wisconsin bookstore and write a message in the instructions box, I’ll sign it before the store sends it to you.

And do let me know what you think.
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  1. Hi, Pat. Sophie’s Squash is one of my favorite picture books ever. I look forward to reading Be Kind. The world needs that message so much right now. Thank you for sharing!

    • I would love to read and own a copy of Be Kind. I work with Special Education lower Elem. kids and being kind to everyone is very important to teach our students early on. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book. ❤

  2. #BeKind is something I post every day on Facebook. I look forward to reading your book, Pat. Kindness and Caring are as necessary as breathing.

  3. Adorable book and something we all need to give more of. I love your writing and can’t wait to read this lovely piece. Congratulations!

  4. Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
    Christian Nestell Bovee.
    Wish I had said it first!

  5. Congrats, Pat, on your newest, a book e clearly ned in this world today. I would love to win a copy to share with the young ones in my life.

  6. Congrats, Pat! Be Kind is a timely addition to the world. Thank you! =)

  7. Hi Pat,
    I love your work and can’t wait to read BE KIND!
    All the best!

  8. I have adored your books and can’t wait to read BE KIND!

  9. Looking forward to reading another one of your beautiful books, Pat!

  10. Congratulations! I love your books and can’t wait to get my hands on this one. It sounds lovely!

  11. Love all your books, Pat! Looking forward to reading BE KIND. Incidentally, I lived in Madison from 1987-2009 and I still miss it!

  12. On ” why we write” rings true to me too. Thanks for sending mindful messages into the world :-)))

  13. Love the Sophie books and can’t wait to see Be Kind!

  14. From the moment I first heard of this book, I knew it was a must own. It’s as simple as that…”be kind.” If only everyone could realize that! I will be presenting about using picture books for SEL and social justice and will be adding Be Kind to the list of recommended books. I would love to win a copy to giveaway at the presentation! Thank you for the opportunity!

    • Pat, I think you’ve written just the right book at just the right time. Keep ’em coming. We’ve got a long haul ahead of us! 🙂 Love, love, love Wherever You Go. I read it often.

  15. Thank you for writing this book! I hope all who read it will ‘see that same truth’ and that it will inspire much kindness! My granddaughter has Down syndrome and is in 1st grade at an inclusive school. It warms my heart to see the kindness of other students towards my precious girl. These kids (most of them) are learning kindness, acceptance, tolerance and appreciation of diversity. I hope the ones who are resisting learning these things will read this book and let kindness seep into their very being! Thanks again!

  16. I can’t wait for this one, Pat! It’s needed more than ever. Congratulations on BE KIND.❤️

  17. Becky Scharnhorst

    This book is just what the world needs right now. I can’t wait to read it!

  18. Good to know BE KIND is about to head out into a world that needs it. Teachers, especially, are going to love this one!

  19. Really looking forward to Be Kind. Great concept and timely indeed!

  20. The Sophie’s Squash books are favorites around here. Can’t wait to read your new book!

  21. Your books are remarkable for their HEART, something children need more than another worksheet or multiple-choice reading test. Your stories welcome discussion about daily issues that matter.

  22. Be Kind, Choose Kind, Speak Up and Speak Out… the themes of picture books are ON POINT for teaching my little ones and my students how to read!! Thank you for being a children’s book warrior. The world needs you so desperately!

  23. Congratulations! This sounds like the perfect type of book we need right now. I’ve enjoyed your other books so much. 🙂

  24. Congrats! This sounds wonderful.

  25. I’m sure Be Kind will follow in the footsteps of your other books, and be a well-loved story that touches those who read it. Congratulations, Pat!

  26. What you wrote about writing resonates with me 110%. That’s also why your stories resonate with your devoted readers. Looking forward to BE KIND!

  27. BE KIND is a book the world needs. I’m keeping this blog post for those days when I question my value as a writer and need some inspiration to keep going. Thank you for your lovely words.

  28. This looks adorable! We’d love to win a copy!

  29. Kathleen Mazurowski

    I can’t wait to read this book! It is already on my library list.

  30. Have you sent a copy to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? I think there’s at least one person there who might benefit. Oops, not very kind to say that. Guess I could use it too. Congrats, Pat!

  31. I love your books! Excited to read this one.

  32. A timeless treasure! Love all your books, Pat, and this one is much needed in our world today! Thank you.

  33. Pat, this book is so beautiful in text, thought and illustration. Congratulations on its release!

  34. This sounds like such a thoughtful and lovely book. I can’t wait to read it!

  35. It sounds like this is just the book our world needs! Congratulations!

  36. Wonderful post, Pat! I’m so excited about BE KIND. It’s a book we all need to help inspire us to always be kind to everyone!

  37. Really appreciated this post, Pat. I definitely can relate to putting a book out there and hoping it connects with even just one kid. One smile!
    So happy to hear about all the love you’ve received, and I hope, as you do, that this book will send you a tidal wave of it!

  38. Congratulations Pat! I’m buying copies for everyone I know. What s timely edition to the world.

  39. I adore all your books, Pat. I can’t wait to read BE KIND and share it with my students. What a gift to our world 🙂

  40. Love your books, Pat & can’t wait to read this one. Our world & our president needs a copy. Perhaps the publisher can send one to him?

  41. In today’s world, the message of being kind is one of extreme importance. Thanks for addressing it and for being kind enough to offer a giveaway.

  42. I love the idea of this book and what an excellent message and teaching tool your book will be for adults to relay to kids. I can’t wait to read it. I want to live in this world too.

  43. If you want more picture books about raising kind young citizens, Parnassus Books has compiled this list:

  44. Congratulations, Pat. This sounds like a much-needed and well-timed book 🙂

  45. This is such a “timely” book, no pun intended. What a powerful lesson to teach kids. Congrats on your latest, Pat–I can’t wait to read it!

  46. I found myself nodding at every comment you made in this interview. Like shoes, there is no such thing as too much kindness. Best of luck!

  47. Congrats! Looking forward to reading it.

  48. Your books are full of such lovely sentiments. It’s good to be reminded to be kind. I think a lot of kids (and adults, and, sometimes, me) value the satisfaction of being clever over the contentment of being kind.

  49. Can’t wait to add this one to my collection!

  50. Hi Pat, I’m looking forward to reading and sharing Be Kind.

  51. Looking forward to reading your latest books! We love Sophie!

  52. Looking forward to this one! Adding it to my list of PBs!

  53. BEST advice ever. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Congratulations! This looks like a lovely book!

  55. I just requested this book from our local library. It looks lovely and like just what we all need right now.

  56. I simply cannot wait to read this book! Thank you for sharing your words 🙂

  57. So excited about this book, Pat, and I’ll be reading and celebrating it long after it is your latest title. All of your books matter, deeply, to various readers, but this one will resonate wth readers of any age, and never lose its appeal. Being kind never goes out of style. Congratulations!

  58. Congratulations, Pat! Encouraging kindness in kids right from the start is awesome. I’m sure it will make a great impact on your readers!

  59. There isn’t anything more important than to help children learn to be kind and considerate of others – no matter what they look like or where they are from or what their interests are…..Thank you for emphasizing that concept!

  60. I’m excited to see this book. It is so needed.

  61. Love hearing about the surprise of readers’ responses!

  62. Pat, I was lucky enough to sit with you at lunch at the last SCBWI Wisconsin conference, and you shared this book. It gave me the goosebumps. Needless to say, BE KIND is one mighty little book.

  63. I tell my kids that I’d rather they be known for being kind than smart, or a great student, or accomplished. I’d love them to be all of those things, yes, but kind…that’s the most important. Thank you for bringing this book alive!

  64. I look forward to reading this to my children. The world needs more kindness!

  65. I’m so looking forward to seeing and sharing BE KIND, Pat. And I love your list of reasons why we write. Congratulations on another wonderful book.

  66. Pat,
    I can’t wait to get a copy of this book and share it with my students and the other teachers at my school.

  67. Andy LeGore Donahoe

    I can’t wait to share this book, Pat. Kindness is going to win out.

  68. We definitely need more kindness in this world. Thank you for writing this book.

  69. Cynthia Wyszynski

    So excited for your new book! I’m a big fan of “Wherever You Go” and have purchased for a few loved ones in my life. 🙂

  70. I have a class of second graders who would benefit greatly from this book! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  71. Pat,
    The world right now needs a book titled Be Kind. I can’t wait to read it.

  72. This is a wonderful story to share with students. Great to tie in with New Years Resolutions.

  73. Congratulations on your new book, Pat! Looks great + a much needed message for all.

  74. Looking forward to BE KIND, Pat. The world needs a bit more kindness these days and your book will start with the children, which is so important. Congratulations!

  75. Have been waiting a long time to read this book. 🙂

  76. So excited for this book! Congrats to Pat!

  77. Nice. Thanks for this very inspirational post!

  78. Pat, your writing is so inspiring to wanna-be-published-writers because it takes us deep into ourselves to feel things we’ve forgotten that we tucked away long, long ago. Thank you.

  79. Looking forward to getting a copy. I’m sure it will be as wonderful as all of your other stories. Congratulations on ‘Be Kind’

  80. Ms. Miller is a fabulous author (I think Sophie’s Squash is heartwarming-comedic genius). Can’t wait to read this book.

  81. Congratulations on BE KIND. I really enjoyed this beautiful post.

  82. I am really looking forward to reading this and sharing it with my students! I will definitely be looking for it!

  83. Hi, Pat, I’m a big fan of your work and this one is already calling to me. Congratulations and all best wishes for many more books that delight.

  84. Sounds like a PB I will love! I hope my name is drawn!

  85. Love this Pat! I hope e can all BE KIND like you. 🙂

  86. I love your books, Pat. I am excited this one. I love the title and the message. Congrats.

  87. I don’t have a book on KINDNESS in my collection of children’s books. This one would be delightful, I’m sure 🙂 I am so glad to be part of this blog.
    All the best!

  88. Can’t wait to read this book. Thanks Pat. I am a big fan of your books. They inspire me.

  89. Great message! I can’t wait to read this.

  90. Hi Pat, I love your books. Can’t wait to give them to our granddaughter. This one seems really apt for the time we’re living in. Nancy

  91. This post was wonderfully inspiring and uplifting. Kids around the world will be better off because of Be Kind, and no doubt their ‘grown-ups’ will be too. Thanks for writing with such great intentions.

  92. Congrats! I loved your books, Quickest Kid in Clarksville, Sophie’s Squash, i’m sure this will be an awesome book! I”m a fan!

  93. Just read The Quickest Kid in Clarksville and I love it! Can’t wait to get my hands (and those of the kids at our school) on Be Kind. Thank you for the great books.

  94. I understand what you mean about books bringing something they need to reader, Pat. Just as you want to add kindness, my goal as a writer has always been to add laughter. Both are worthy goals, I think. ??

  95. Congratulations on this lovely, necessary book.

  96. Just read this one…. it is great….
    Curious how long it took you to write?
    Also where do you pick your character names from?

    I also really enjoyed the illustrations. They were very refreshing, engaging and drew me in…. i think through her use of the purple shirts on each page and some outlines/some watercolour. And i loved the “round the world” locations page.

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