What Is Kindness? Three kids looking up at the title, Follow these three curious kiddos as the adventure to discover what it means to be kind

What Is Kindness? – Book by Local Author (& Mom) Jenna Dawson

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Local Mom Jenna Dawson published a new picture book – What is Kindness? – in November 2022. She is being featured at the Ypsilanti District Library’s Young Black Writers Workshop on January 16 at the Ypsilanti Library Michigan Avenue Branch.. Before the event, we wanted to share more about her and her book.


About Jenna Dawson

Jenna has lived between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti her whole life and attended Ann Arbor Public Schools. She is a Mom to 2 young kids (a son in first grade and a daughter who is 5). Two of the characters on the cover of What is Kindness are modeled after her children.

Previously, Jenna worked at local children’s retailer The Little Seedling – who now carries her book! She has worked as an au pair, in daycare, and in preschools

Jenna Dawson has a credential in Early Child Development and was working at a local Nature School where their inclusive beliefs in an authentic childhood inspired her to write What is Kindness?.

In addition to her book, Jenna is the driving force behind Care Seats of Michigan. She is a certified in Child Passenger Safety. Visit her at one of the monthly pullover prevention events for a child seat safety inspection or to receive a donated seat if you need one.

Kudos to Jenna for not only teaching our children to be kind, but also for helping keep them safe.

Jenna Dawson author profile photo

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About What is Kindness?

“To See the change in the world that I want to see, I felt we need to start as young as possible.”

Jenna Dawson

What is Kindness? was published on November 13, 2022 – World Kindness Day. It is an LGBTQIA, anti-racism, all-ages friendly illustrated book about discovering Kindness and spreading it everywhere you go.

Nice and Kind are not the same. Nice is a social norm and is expected, but is not necessarily from the heart. Being Kind is more of a mindset from within.

While working at the preschool, she was inspired by the way they implemented inclusivity. For example, her co-worker and best friend uses they/she pronouns, some parents asked that they use they/them for their children or themselves. This led to changes in the language used in classes – switching to gender neutral language like “friends” instead of boys and girls and finding other

Having the respect to honor someone else’s reality is kind.

Where Can I Get What is Kindness?

Jenna chose to self-publish the book through Lulu Self-Publishing since she had an illustrator she really liked for the character design. Must publishing houses, want you to use their in-house illustrators.

Jenna’s book is available to purchase locally and through her website (and isn’t her daughter adorable)

You can purchase What is Kindness? while shopping at The Little Seedling – where Jenna used to work. The Little Seedling is located in Westgate Shopping Center, 2465 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor. You can also order it from their website for pickup or delivery.

RISE Wellness Collaborative in Saline (760 Woodland Dr E) has also purchased several copies and has them on their donation table.


About Care Seats of Michigan

From their Website:

Care Seats of Michigan was founded for one purpose – to build a space where all families can learn to keep their children as safe as possible while in and around vehicles. This isn’t something many parents are able to prioritize; whether due to financial limitations, deficiency in education or other impactful lack of resources, car seat safety is routinely put on the back burner.

This being especially true for BIPOC families, Care Seats of Michigan pays special attention to meeting the needs of Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color. We are determined to reduce the historically severe disparity in resources and education pertaining to BIPOC and Child Passenger Safety in our community.

Care Seats of Michigan


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