From the March 2020 issue

‘Be Kind’ Book by Dad Andy Gutman Aims to Reclaim a Lost Art

In new kids book Be Kind, a butterfly named Charlie learns what it means to share kindness. And its metro Detroit author is hoping that message spreads.

A metro Detroit dad of many trades – local author and businessman Andy Gutman – is back with another children’s book, Be Kind.

Gutman, who also penned Charlie the Caterpillar and Pop Lullaby, says he wrote his fifth and latest because he thinks teaching kindness is more important now than ever.

“Basic kindness seems to be a lost art form,” he says. “It’s an important message for kids – and adults, too.”

Everyday kindness

In this latest title, Charlie, who’s now a butterfly, and his pals and mom discover what it means to be kind. In the process, the learn it’s about making time to breathe, being quick to listen and faster to forgive, to always try your best – and more.

As with his past books, this one started as a song and evolved into a children’s book. He created two songs to accompany Be Kind, which can be found on Spotify, iTunes and other streaming services.

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Though his 15-year-old daughter Riley has outgrown the children’s books, Gutman says she was an inspiration for Be Kind.

“If she sees someone sitting there eating lunch alone, she’ll go up to them and make them feel wanted,” he says. “She’s got such a great heart.”

Ways to spread kindness

Gutman is taking his message even further in March of 2020. He’ll be out performing “random acts of kindness” – like stopping parents in the drop-lane in schools to give them coffee and delivering supplies to local elementary schools – in honor of National Reading Month.

People can nominate others for an act of kindness on his website, gutcheckpublishing.com.

Or you can join Gutman in his cause by trying these three easy acts of kindness yourself:

  1. Hold a door open for a person behind you. “Sometimes it’s just the little things,” Gutman says. “When people do big things, it’s appreciated, but sometimes it’s the smallest acts of kindness that make us smile.”
  2. Give thanks and practice gratitude. “Make a thank you card to show your mom, dad or teacher how much you appreciate them,” he says. “I have a coworker who makes her own personalized cards and every time I think of the time she spent making it and it lights up my day.”
  3. Put in the work. “Do a chore for a family member or friend, such as making your sister’s bed,” he says. “I had to run out and do some errands and when I came back, my daughter had taken the dog out. It made such a difference in my day and really made me smile.”

Find ‘Be Kind’

Be Kind is a colorful, 24-page story for kids up to a fifth-grade reading level. The hardcover is $19.99 and paperback is $9.99/paperback. Buy a copy online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or gutcheckpublishing.com.

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