Broadneck High School junior Rachel Spitzer published her debut children’s book, “Tiny Kindness,” in August. Written and illustrated by Spitzer, the book is centered around the value of kindness, promoting friendship and mental health.
The inspiration behind the book came from the Tiny Kindness Campaign Spitzer created in middle school for her Girl Scout troop. For the campaign, she illustrated brochures for schools and groups in her community in hopes of encouraging kindness and positive mental health. This project was continued in her high school troop, which sparked the interest in creating a book similar to the theme of the Tiny Kindness Campaign.
More specifically, Spitzer’s decision to cater the book toward children was due to the lack of mental health inclusion found in most children’s books she had read growing up. Spitzer hopes the entire book resonates with adolescent readers in some way, but she especially hopes the end of the book does the most. In that section, the animal characters learn about the impact of small acts of kindness from the main character, Tiny. She hopes to emphasize how much even small acts of kindness can impact people.
The production of “Tiny Kindness” began during Spitzer’s freshman year, when she came up with the idea and began working on the storyline. The book was then written and illustrated over the course of her sophomore year. Each illustrated page in the children’s book took about two to three hours to create, and images were originally sketched on paper and pencil and then transferred to Adobe to digitally create the illustrations.
Spitzer remarked that designing illustrations was the most difficult part of the production process of “Tiny Kindness,” but she also said, “It was a really fun process and I really enjoyed doing them.”
She plans to write and illustrate more books about the adventures Tiny embarks on, as well as his small acts of kindness toward others. She plans on creating new storylines, towns and different animal characters, along with finding a new online website to help digitize future illustrations.
When asked why the idea to publish her children’s book was so important to her, Spitzer responded with, “I just thought it was a really cool thing to do. You don’t see a lot of kids writing these kinds of books.”
“Tiny Kindness” is available for purchase on Amazon, and proceeds of all purchases will go toward the Mental Health America nonprofit organization.