Penguin Workshop, January 2020.
Hardcover Picture book, 40 pages.
My review of her 2018 debut: Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave
“Jessica Hische takes young readers on a new, extraordinary journey that encourages them to be helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous grateful, and above all, kind. Each small act of kindness helps make the world a better place.”—jacket copy
Those familiar with Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave will find a similar approach to living out the artistically rendered words: with thoughtfulness, and tenacity. We are only asked to try our best, get a good night’s rest, and try again tomorrow. I appreciate the inclusion that maybe there is a level of preparation involved in our pursuits, even beyond sleeping. Sure the efforts of a day require rest, but Hische’s protagonists dream. The text at the close reads ”I’ll dream of the good that comes when we all just try our best,” while the images contemplate opportunities. The story attached to “Honest” finds a new story that could fit under the heading of “Generous.”
Similar to the previous book: Hische inspires the reader/listener to come up with their own ideas of what patience or gentleness or honesty might look like. The word “Patient” accompanies a playground scenario of waiting turns; it also explores the idea (on the following page) of being stuck, but not giving up: “I’ll take time to see it through.”
Notice how the three main characters are—well, three always—and how they are in the company of friends or family. All of these ideas are pursued in relationships, in community. The giving and receiving creates worthwhile moments, even in difficult situations: broken windows, grieving loss.
The palette is warm and soft. The Font-Art haven’t many hard edges or angles—except “Patient,” which is used as a structure; it’s staid and less sprawling. Hische brings a lot of energy and activity to the page: this pairs well with the notion that these Word-Ideas are pro-active, “Tomorrow I’ll be helpful/ when I see someone in need/ I won’t stand by or hesitate, /I’ll get up and take the lead!”
Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind is a nice companion to the earlier Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave. For some of us, it may be the best kind of pairing. Regardless, it’s a good one to have around, a gentle reminder and inspiring book to reference as we (all of us) grow into the best versions of ourselves.
Noted: The Ziggy Stardust inspired album cover on page 3—cute.
Jessica Hische grew up in Pennsylvania. She currently lives in San Francisco, where she works as a letterer, illustrator, type designer, and relentless procrastiworker. Clients include Wes Anderson, Dave Eggers, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., OXFAM America, McSweeney’s, American Express, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Chronicle Books, Nike, and Samsung.