Be a Bridge

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2022
Lerner Publishing Group, Carolrhoda Books ®

Talking about this book? Use #BeaBridge #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


In this upbeat picture book, acclaimed authors Irene Latham and Charles Waters bring key themes from their earlier collaborations (Can I Touch Your Hair? and Dictionary for a Better World) to a young audience. Rhyming verse describes different ways in which readers can "be a bridge," from welcoming a new student and listening respectfully when someone else is talking to standing up to a bully and comforting a classmate who is upset.
Nabila Adani's cheerful illustrations depict a diverse group of students, including young versions of Charles and Irene. Scan a Page Plus QR code at the end of the book to download a Bridge Builder Pledge. An ideal book to share with students in the fall to set the tone for the whole school year!

In this upbeat picture book, acclaimed authors Irene Latham and Charles Waters bring key themes from their earlier collaborations (Can I Touch Your Hair? and Dictionary for a Better World) to a young...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781728423388
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)

Average rating from 89 members

Featured Reviews

A Bridge is Love. This book is everything I tell my kids daily. A reminder to be a bridge from mean to kindness, sadness to happiness, from hate to love.

Was this review helpful?

Very colorful, gorgeous illustrations. A great message conveyed without too many words cluttering the pages!

Was this review helpful?

This is such a cute, helpful, and very valuable book. It shows that it costs nothing to be kind and we are stronger together than we think.

Was this review helpful?

This is a cute children's book about being kind to everyone. The drawings were so inclusive and the message was so positive! Definitely a great book for children to read.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Be a Bridge is a beautifully illustrated and moving story. I love all the ways it shows children that their actions can help brighten other peoples days. It's important that children know how to include one another and accept each other for who they are. This book had many different illustrations that I can use in my toddler class.

I really enjoyed the use of praying in this book. There are some children who are not going to understand the reasonings behind it. I think it's important to share different spiritual, cultural, and beliefs within children books. The more you expand advanced topics in children books, the better children can understand how to respect them.

Was this review helpful?

The very first page "Love is the bridge between you and everything" immediately drew me in!

This was such a wonderful book that I think everyone shod read! My main goal as a parent is to raise a child that is kind. This book does a great job showing all the little ways you can be kind to someone, and how everyone can do something. This book was simple and easy to understand, but very cute and important. My three year old really liked and we read it twice in a row! This is definitely a book is like to own. I also really appreciated the extra actives, and pledge at the end! I will definitely be recommending this book to my fellow mom friends.

Thank you Lerner Publishing Group / Carolrhonda Books for a digital copy of this book! This book is due for publication 8/2/22.

💙 Mommy (@that.bookmom) and Ronan (@thatbookkid) approved ✅

Was this review helpful?

As a parent, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to navigate all of the conversations that need to be had with our kids. The world feels like a whole lot. I so appreciated the simplicity of this book’s message and found it resonated with my children, too. There is a philosophy, or even a mantra, here that clicks for kids. The idea of being the bridge - how straightforward, how metaphorical. This book is a great conversation starter for kids under the age of 6. I especially appreciated the additional recommended reading at the end.

Was this review helpful?

This picture book is about building bridges, bridges of love and community. The book is full of beautiful art of children helping, being there for, and being friends with other children, while the words explain different ways to do those things. At the end of the book, there are also some bridge building activities, as well as some other book recommendations on the same subject (both which were great touches!)

I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone with young children. It would also be a great one for preschool libraries!

*I was given a copy of this title via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

What a great kids book about friendship! This would be the perfect addition to any kindergarten classroom or childhood home, as this is a story all about the importance of community and strength through connection. I loved it!

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely heartwarming and a book I wish I had access to as a child myself.

As soon as I saw a Muslim girl on the cover of this book I knew I had to read it. As a Muslim woman myself I hope my children's future will include books with characters of all backgrounds.

The art is beautiful and I truly appreciated the diversity. The font and text size works great with everything.

Just pure serotonin, highly recommend!

Was this review helpful?

I love this children’s picture book on how to ‘Be a Bridge through acts of kindness!’ As a Healthcare Provider, we had to attend classes on how acts of positivity create rippling affects. I found that the concept greatly improved the attitude in the hospital. I’m grateful that you are publishing a children’s book on this topic as children who learn these lessons will make the world a kinder place.

The opening phrase “Love is the bridge between you and everything,” is a powerful and loving concept that should be taught to every child. I enjoyed the rhyming formatting of the story. The various examples of being kind and encouraging in every situation takes the ‘Golden Rule’ to the next level.

The illustrations are bright, vibrant, cheerful, and fun. Children ages 4 – 9 will greatly benefit from this book. It could be integrated into a social studies module in the classroom thus making the classroom a more peaceful learning environment. The book would also be a nice addition to any household. As another thought, the concepts of this book could be used in a in a picture book for gifting to a friend.

Additionally, I feel that the references, activities, and pledge at the end of the book, will aid in implementing the concepts discussed.

I am grateful for this book as I feel the message will make the world a better place, one reader at a time.

I want to thank Authors Irene Latham and Charles Waters, Illustrator Nabila Adani, Carolrhoda Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this Advanced Reader’s Copy. This is a voluntary review, and all comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book for children with a great message. This book shares wonderful values through word and illustrations. I love the representation and diversity in the pictures and the lesson all kids should be taught.

Was this review helpful?

I love this book so much that I am preordering a copy ASAP. This book gives wonderful examples of connecting with others using the metaphor of a bridge. Kids will love this book too because of the amazing art and rhyming. The end of the book has a pledge that kids can say and/or sign and resources for how kids can be a bridge. I need a print copy of this in my classroom and at home, too.

Was this review helpful?

Love is a bridge between you and everything. - Rumi

That opening quote struck me; it is true that love connects us with those around us, either people or things that we care about.

This book is so heartwarming, especially to me because of my medical issues. I tend to be in a corner where no one notices me but in this book it shows how people should approach others with respect, kindness and love.

I hope everyone reads this 🥺❤️

Was this review helpful?

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

First off, I loved the meaning of this book! So simple and easy to follow and explain to children of different ages. It cited many ways you can be a bridge (being helpful, kind, brave, inclusive). There was a lot of diversity in characters and the illustrations were wonderful. A great book for readers of all ages!

Was this review helpful?

A beautiful book about the superpower we all possess: the power of kindness. Easy to follow with great examples for young kids to follow on how to include everyone and pass along the gift of caring. Illustrations are engaging and help young readers access the message better. Inclusive artwork makes this book relatable for every reader. Further bridge building activities are listed at the end of the book along with the bridge builder pledge. A great way to start a school year to set a safe, inclusive class atmosphere.

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book that teaches children about diversity, kindness, and inclusivity. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and my 4 year old twin daughters loved “reading” the book to themselves and scanning through all the pictures after we finished it.

This book contains valuable lessons about showing compassion to others and even standing up to bullies. My daughter remarked that, “if you see someone makin fun of other kids, you stand up straight and tell them to cut it out.”

I got choked up reading this beautiful book. Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing group for access to this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I can’t wait to own a physical copy for our home library.

Was this review helpful?

This book was super cute. Flowed nicely and taught valuable lessons. My daughter loves it because “it’s about standing up for people”.

Was this review helpful?

I love this book! The illustrations are colorful and vibrant, and the message is beautiful: be kind to others, be welcoming to all, and be a good listener when others need to speak.

"Listening takes courage.
Let every voice be heard."

All the illustrations of the children going through their school day (art class, lunch, recess) are wonderful. I especially love the detail of the children eating diverse lunches together. This is something my daughter is currently having issues with at her school.

I will definitely order a copy of this for our home, and an extra copy for our diverse free little library.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This book is absolutely beautiful! It teaches children how to “be a bridge” to be kind and inclusive to other friends who may not feel included. It’s such a powerful story for young children to start learning kindness and empathy at a young age. The rhyming helps kids pay attention and the illustrations help to move the story are beautiful. I also think this a good story to help children understand how important it is to be an ally.

Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing group for access to this digital ARC.

Was this review helpful?

What a beautiful book. I'm so happy that the children today have an overwhelming supply of loving messages about acceptance and kindness and understanding. I can't wait to add this one to our shelves and gift it to our beloved teachers.

Was this review helpful?

Be a Bridge is a beautiful and inspiring children's book with breathtaking and colorful illustrations. The message is essential in letting young children know how to be a friend, tune with feelings/emotions, display inclusivity, and welcome diversity.

As a kindergarten teacher, I do many friendship activities in building classroom connections. This book has it all through the pages and the pledge at the end and activities to finish it up.

I recommend this book and cannot wait to have it in my own school!

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for the e-arc in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

"A bridge is love. And love is you! Take a chance-imagine all the good you can do."

I adored this! A beautifully written story paired with equally beautiful illustrations. Be a Bridge is the perfect reminder that unity is intersectional. Being together as one, means being kind to everyone. This is going to be a staple in every classroom.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this sweet picture book! An easy place to start with kids to teach them how to be includers and what that looks like. I would highly recommend this for all parents or librarians looking to teach children about inclusion and kindness.

Was this review helpful?

**Thank you to NetGalley, authors Irene Latham and Charles Waters, and Lerner Publishing Group, Carolrhoda Books for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**

"You've got a job to do - Be a Bridge."

Be a Bridge is a beautifully written picture book that shares with teachers different ways in which young people can "bridge" connections and friendships to make school a friendly, welcoming, and safe environment for all. Latham and Waters use simple language and a rhyming style to tell the story in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-connect-with way. I adore this story and commend the message it is spreading to readers.

Nabila Adani completes the story with their vibrant, expression-filled illustrations of children at school. This is a book that I believe can really thrive in elementary school SEL programs across the country, and I cannot wait to add it to my "good books for storytimes" list.

Was this review helpful?

Be a Bridge is a beautiful book in both its message and its art work. I know my first grade class will enjoying hearing it and discussing all the ways we can be a bridge to others through kindness, acceptance, and including others. Charles Waters and Irene Latham have written another treasure.

Was this review helpful?

MY gosh! This book gave me such warm, fuzzy feelings! It showed a great diversity of characters (children using a wheelchair, a child wearing a hijab, racial diversity). It also had a really wonderful message about caring for others and advice for what to do in various situations. Very positive, much needed at this time in the world!

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely love this story and everything about it! From the stunning artwork to the recommended activities and every word in between - I found this book to be a breath of fresh air. It teaches readers of all walks of life the importance of practicing kindness, encouraging peace, and being mindful wherever you go. I can see this book being used in schools across the nation as a read aloud any time of the year and will be adding it to my wishlist immediately!

Was this review helpful?

Be a bridge! What a wonderful message for children! I loved that being a bridge stands for so many things such as being kind, lending a helping hand, comforting friends, respecting others and their beliefs.

The illustrations are so bright and beautiful and go well with the message in the story. I love how all kinds of people are represented in the story and can see so many people being able to relate to the characters in the book.

This is a great book for not just kids but adults too. We could all learn from the message included!

Was this review helpful?

Great addition to any classroom!

"Be a Bridge" is a great story about being empathetic and helpful to others. My absolute favorite part of the book is the disability representation! And it is super inclusive.

The authors do a fantastic job of giving real life examples of difficult situations and how a person can specifically help others. Nothing is left up in the air; it gives children a perfect route to being empathetic and understanding.

Great illustrations too!

I've worked in the childcare field for nearly twenty years - this book deserves a spot on any classroom shelf!

Thank you to Irene Latham, Charles Waters, NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for my ARC. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This is such a great story for teaching little ones what it means to listen to different perspectives, to be a friend to others, and to stand up against bullying. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love that the child in a wheelchair is really part of the class. I recommend for PK and K as they explore different aspects of social-emotional learning.

Was this review helpful?

What a sweet book for younger children that teaches kindness, empathy, and respect. Both the illustrations and the text really do the theme justice.

The diversity in this book is very natural. As an educator, I also really appreciate the resources in the back of the book. Children will be very engaged while reading, and will feel empowered throughout.

5 stars, would love to read to my students!

Was this review helpful?

This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. The use of rainbows to help build the bridge to show inclusivity was fantastic. This is a book we all need to read right now. We all need to come together and respect each other’s differences.

The inclusion of activities, other reading materials, and a pledge at the end was a great addition.

I look forward to putting this on my son’s bookshelf in the future. A very meaningful book for all children to have in their home.

Was this review helpful?

The premise is a quote by Rumi, "Love is a bridge between you and everything," and the rainbow theme is used to show inclusivity, a symbol often synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community, but not one that is exclusive to one group or another. The book features a #muslimintheillustration and I absolutely love that she is not the new kid in class, and when she doesn't want to participate in a music activity that is ok. She is given space to make dua before she eats and she too is a good friend when someone is hurting. The kids model the suggestions the text is making on how to be a bridge of inclusion, kindness, community, and compassion. The illustrator is Muslim (#muslimillustrator) and the book a great way to help kids be better to one another by highlighting familiar, relatable scenarios and action plans to be bridges for others. Perfect for ages 4-8. #muslimsintheillustrations #2022 #islamicschoollibrarian @lernerpublishing

Was this review helpful?

This will be one of my new go-to books for baby showers and kid's birthdays.
This is the message we all need right now.

Was this review helpful?

I loved reading this picture book! It’s a story that celebrates and encourages inclusivity, respect, and connection.

Children throughout the book are depicted to build bridges between them and their peers by standing up for their classmates, inviting someone to play, showing others respect, and overall bridging connections by being open minded.

Nabila Adani’s illustrations are full of vibrant color and lush detail that serve to show the spectrum of people in a community. There is representation of multiple cultures and bodies. It’s warm and bright and colorful and exudes a welcoming aura.

At the end of the book, readers can find bridge builder activities and recommendations on more books that encourage connections. This is a wonderful read and perfect for readers ages 4-9.

Was this review helpful?

Be a Bridge is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book that has a relevant and important message for today that both children and adults can learn from. This lovely poem will help the foundation for caring for others and how to handle daily situations children encounter such as bullying, playing alone, including others, and remaining respectful and kind. The illustrations are gorgeous and reflect the diverse world we live in. Be a Bridge shows all the good just one person can do.
Once published, this children’s book would be a perfect addition to a teacher's library as well as a home library.

Was this review helpful?

This book is about the different ways that students to help each other as well as support one another throughout the school day. The author does a great job showing how these small acts of kindness like standing up for someone, respecting others, etc. Be a Bridge was a very diverse book as there were children from all different cultures represented in this book as well as children who use wheelchairs. The illustrations in this book are amazing and wonderfully done and the reader could tell that the illustrator took time to learn about the different aspects of the cultures that were included in the short story. This book covers everything that I remind my students constantly to remember to do throughout the day. This will definitly be a book that I will be purchasing for my classroom.

I look forward to purchaing this book and usuing it in my classroom. Many thanks to the aurthor, publisher, and NetGallery for an advanced copy for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so refreshing to me! This isn’t a book with a hijabi just as token diversity (nothing wrong with muslims in the illustrations, it does make me smile, but this book just felt so authentic and it is due to the illustrator being a hijabi muslim herself!! Truly #ownvoice rep matters!!)

Genre: Picture Book
Ages: 5-8
Available: Amazon (August release date)

I loved how this book started with a quote from Rumi, and related the theme of building bridges between people with the theme of rainbows (bridges of light and water).

The book offered practical SEL advice on how to build bridges, which includes steps on being the first to welcome someone new, inviting others to play and respecting their right to refuse, standing up to bullies, respecting religious beliefs, acknowledging the messiness in life, listening to others, being confident, being present, and being with a community!

Rainbow shoelaces in this story represent inclusivity (as referenced in the author’s note) and the book teaches kids to be kind to each other.

The rhymes were wonderful and the illustrations AMAZING!!

And my fave part: this is the first book I have ever read in which it is addressed that there are Muslims who don’t play music, and the book shows that others should respect that right and be understanding of it both through the words and the pictures! This is such wonderful representation and messaging!!

I also loved how the hijabi girl made duaa before eating and the book emphasized respecting other’s religious practices.

The awesome thing in this diverse book is that no color, race, or religion was othered. The hijabi girl was not the new kid from another country, she was part and parcel of the community. And so was everyone else on the book, part of the wonderful loving community experiencing life together!

An adorable book and one I can’t wait to preorder and read to my kids!

Was this review helpful?

I think this book is a beautiful reminder, and possibly a first introduction to children that we need to be kind and love one another no matter our differences. In a volatile world like today, its so easy to turn to negativity and hate, and I think this book is the perfect way to break things down on a child's level that we are all the same on the inside.

Was this review helpful?

We tell students to be kind but that can be a very ambiguous term. This book gives specific examples of how students can know when their friends need help and actual suggestions of what they can do to help. These real-life, relatable examples can help students apply what they learn in the book to their everyday life. It touches on students who might have unique needs and it highlights that all feelings are valid. The beautiful artwork enhances the book. There are also supplemental resources. Extension activities, recommended books and a student pledge students can sign are all included!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the ARC!

This is such a beautiful book in every conceivable way. The illustrative text, illustrations, vibrant colors, and the central themes of the story all come together to form a gorgeous story that anyone would be lucky to have on their bookshelves, or in their classrooms or library. The story centers around the theme of "being a bridge for others" and focuses on acts of kindness and generosity. The illustrations are engaging and vibrant, and I want to frame every page on my wall because they are just so pretty. This is a perfect addition for anyone looking for more SEL books for their kiddos, as this book practically oozes compassion, love, and positivity. Highly recommend! I can't wait to buy this for my library!

Was this review helpful?

I LOVED this book. This is a book that will definitely be going in our library. Between it’s amazing message and beautifully illustrated pictures, it’s also one I’d recommend to all my friends with kiddos. I loved how diverse the children in the pictures were and I really loved how it discussed being respectful of other cultures and religions. My kiddos are too young to totally get the message but it’s NEVER too early to start instilling this mentality.

Was this review helpful?

Be A Bridge is a beautiful picture book about how we can all be a better friend and neighbor to others. I love the focus on empathy and paying attention to the feelings of others as well as the emphasis on learning emotional regulation. Beautiful pictures accompany the simple text. This will be a wonderful book for promoting discussions about how we perceive and treat other people.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book was perfect in every way. I loved the diversity, illustrations, prose, and overall message. This book emphasizes the important point that every one should be included and you should always try to relate to everyone. I especially loved the extension activities at the end which included other books to read, activities and a pledge.

Was this review helpful?

Be a Bridge is an illustrated children's book that helps give children, and parents in my opinion, ways to help others feel welcome. I have read this to my daughter a few times. She enjoys the vibrant illustrations in this book. And the illustrations in this book are top notch! They are colorful, vibrant and inclusive to the diverse world we live in. They really reflect the message of the book.

This book is a must for parents and teachers who want to teach their littles inclusivity and kindness. I can't wait to see what it looks like in print! I will be looking out for this to get for my daughter once it is published!

Was this review helpful?

Colorful illustrations and a delightful poem ask children to commit to being a bridge to love with everyone they meet. The book even has a "Bridge Builder Pledge" at the end that teachers or parents can print out and have children sign, as well as a glossary of activities for building bridges and learning how to be a conduit for kindness.

I love the opening of this book-poem: "When you wake up/ to a world of bad news,/ pack up your backpack/ and lace up your shoes. // You've got a job to do/ BE A BRIDGE." The book goes on from there to illustrate all the ways children can brighten the days of others, by being polite, by standing up to bullies, by welcoming new kids and inviting outsiders into your circle, by accepting difference, by listening when others speak, and by offering empathy when someone is in a bad mood. That last one is another of my favorite verses: "When a friend's mood turns story/ over a mistake made in art,/ saying 'That's happened to me before,'/ is a great place to start."

The illustrations show a diverse group of children of different races and religions and abilities (with one child in a wheelchair). Given how direct this book is in its instruction, it is probably best read to preschoolers or kindergarteners, children young enough to still be interested in adult advice about how to be in the world. Though honestly, everyone could benefit from following the advice in this children's story, including the advice that it's ok to be alone and that sometimes all we can do to help a friend is sit with them and hold space for their pain.

Thanks to Netgalley, Lerner Books, and CarolRhoda Books for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for my honest review, which it was a pleasure for me to provide.

Was this review helpful?

What does it mean to be a bridge? The authors explore the idea of connecting people and bringing them together in this delightful children's tale about friendship and differences.

The cast of characters throughout the book is beautifully diverse. There are kids and adults of all races and ethnicities illustrated. There is a young girl wearing a hijab and another child who uses a manual wheelchair. Children will see people of all shapes, sizes, colors, ethnicities, races, and with varying abilities in the world around them. Their naturally curious minds will want to know more about them and this book will show them how to connect to those who are different, embrace and befriend them beyond just accepting them.

This story was both entertaining and educational, which can be a tricky balance to maintain in a children’s book, and I will be suggesting it to teachers whenever possible. Incorporating important topics such as kindness, friendship, diversity and tolerance of differences into children's picture books is a tried and true way to teach an important life skill in a way that is fun. This would be an amazing addition for classroom libraries, counselling offices and more.

Was this review helpful?

I love how the job of being a bridge is presented as a way to respond to "a world of bad news." The illustrations and text complement each other beautifully, and the whole communicates a powerful and much-needed message to children and their adults.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read read this book for free.

"Be a Bridge" is a fantastic book. It shows children to be kind to others, try to understand the differences of their peers, and celebrate each other's uniqueness. I love the diversity that is shown in this book. There are images depicting different races, religion's, and children with disabilities. This book shows that even children can do their part to make the world a better place just by being kind to others. It also shows that sometimes it's impossible to know the right thing to say when a friend is struggling or in pain but that's ok. It helps just to be there for them and be willing to listen to them if they want to talk. I highly recommend this book as it is a great example of how people should be loving and supportive no matter what.

Was this review helpful?

i love EVERYTHING about this book. it is beautiful both wordly and visually. the topic this book brought up is so basic yet important especially for kids. because good manners and habits shall be accustomed from an early age.

Was this review helpful?

A beautiful and inclusive book in verse. I loved the message of being a bridge to help other people feel comfortable in new situations. The illustrations are diverse and inclusive of all races, genders, and abilities.

Was this review helpful?

This is a gorgeous book! I loved the poetry/rhyme in the text, and the illustrations--I could look at them all day. I'm definitely adding this one to the school library collection. I would use this one for story time read-aloud. A very wholesome book about seeing yourself in community with others.

Was this review helpful?

THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE. I have a two year old who we just want to be a kind person and this book is full of life lessons that honestly a lot of even adults need to hear. I love the rhyming and the short to the point poetry (if you’re a parent, you get that a few words on a page is golden!) and she loved the photos. I love the message and the verbiage this book gave to us.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a great children's book. The illustrations were absolutely phenomenal, full of bright colors and engaging scenes. The lesson of being kind and helping to bring people together is an important one for young children to learn, especially in our current social climate. This one will be a regular in our reading rotation.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: