author: Hollis Kurman
Charlesbridge, 2020, grades K-2
Of course, any attempt to generate increased compassion for dislocated individuals should be applauded. However, in an attempt to encourage the welcoming of immigrants from war-torn countries, Counting Kindness // A Contar amabilidad makes a few inexplicit implications. Among these are:
(1) Trauma that forces people to leave their homelands can easily be rectified by kindness shown to them by the people of “receiving” countries.
(2) Refugees do not bring much (if anything) to contribute to their adopted countries and lifeways.
(3) The ability to relocate to foreign, yet “developed,” lands (inhabited by people of lighter skin tones) will necessarily lead the refugees to improved lives.
(4) As long as kindness is extended to them, the refugees will easily fit into and be content to live in new lands.
(5) These refugees do not have much (if anything) to miss from being away from home.
Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children // A Contar amabilidad: Counting Kindness: Diez formas de darles la bienvenida a niños refugiados oversimplifiy relocation as a result of war. They also oversimplify the lives and cultures of the displaced populations. Perhaps it’s too much to expect from a children's storybook, but there is nothing here that addresses the roles that the lifestyles enjoyed by people in most of the developed countries plays in generating many conflicts behind the current refugee crises of the world. That having been said, if we are really to feel and demonstrate compassion for the plight of people in other lands, we must do more to reduce our consumption of products, industries and legislation pushing these situations, rather than merely being “friendly” to victims when they happen to become visible within our own sphere of existence (as long as they keep up their end of the bargain and simply melt in).
Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children // A Contar amabilidad: Counting Kindness: Diez formas de darles la bienvenida a niños refugiados are not recommended.