The Greatest Light
by Tim and Cindy Morrison
WestBow Press

"'Fire is a great light and it can be a great comfort. But we could put that fire out with one bucket of water.'"

While trying to understand the world around them, children can often ask deep questions of their parents or grandparents. One such question sparks the discussion of this book: What is the greatest light in the world? The children's grandfather coyly avoids directly answering. In contrast, the two young children guess and hypothesize, only for the grandfather to point out that it could not be any of the obvious answers. As their day together progresses, the children provide assistance and care to people without giving it a second thought. This provides the grandfather with a golden opportunity to point out to the kids that kindness is what truly lights the world under all conditions, allowing them to learn a valuable lesson and for him to praise their good character.

Every page in this book features a gorgeous hand-drawn ink illustration that captures the heart and the sincerity between the characters. The message is the entire book, and while young readers may be surprised to learn the answer to the titular question, a parent or teacher should be able to know exactly what they're presenting to whoever their audience happens to be. The small moments of kindness and the automatic and innocent nature in which the children perform them are pure and heart-warming. Meanwhile, the soft-spoken presentation prevents more cynical readers from feeling as if the narrative is preachy. This book is a brief but lasting piece of goodness that is easy to share and re-read on a bad day or after a difficult struggle.

Honorable Mention in the 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award Children's Category

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