RINA HORIUCHI grew up in a magical, manga world surrounded by bookcases of Japanese comics. Today she’s writing her own books, still inspired by Japanese kids’ literature and art. She collaborates with her illustrator-sister, Risa Horiuchi, on book ideas. At her day job, Rina works as a web and user experience designer. She loves the challenge of presenting information that is simple, beautiful, and elegant—like a picture book. Rina recently moved to New York and enjoys walks with her husband and daughter in Central Park.
K IS FOR KINDNESS
by Rina and Risa Horiuchi
Viking Children’s Books, 2022
Debut author/illustrator and sister duo have crafted a sweet ABC book that expresses how kindness can be found anywhere.
Ape picks an apple for Aardvark below.
Bat puts a bandage on Brown Bear’s big toe.
From aardvark to zebra, this delightful cast of animal characters illustrates the many ways to show kindness to others, while teaching the youngest readers their ABCs.
“An abecedarian collection of animals performing good deeds. Sister duo Rina and Risa Horiuchi stroll through the alphabet in their picture-book debut, which shows various animal friends helping each other out. Both the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letters are spotlighted in the vignettes, and the first letter of each sentence is colored blue. The quirky animals find themselves in everyday situations. For instance, “Ape picks an apple for Aardvark below,” while “Bat puts a bandage on Brown Bear’s big toe.” On another double-page spread, “Elephant finds Eagle’s eyeglasses—phew! and “Fox fixes Frog’s broken fire truck with glue.” And for those trickier letters at the end of the alphabet: “Weasel knits Walrus a warm, woolen sweater” as “X-ray Fish signs ‘XOX’ in his letter.” There is no shortage of animal alphabet books, but these spare rhymes, paired with delicate digital ink-and-watercolor illustrations, are a delight. Uncluttered pastel backgrounds keep everything feeling airy and bright. Explaining an abstract concept like kindness to children can be challenging; thankfully, this book provides young readers will many concrete object lessons. The ending turns reflective, asking readers how they might be kind today. A primer for young minds learning both letters and empathy.”—Kirkus Reviews