As both a mother and a teacher, Valencia resident Melissa Cenatiempo often finds herself immersed in picture books.
“Working with students with special needs, I saw how engaged a picture book could be for even my most challenging students, and something just sparked in me,” Cenatiempo said.
It was then that she began to write, hoping to share positive stories for children that focus on important values, such as kindness and tolerance.
Since then, she’s written half a dozen stories and recently self-published her first book, “Acts of Kindness,” teaching kids the values of simple, everyday acts of kindness.
“I always talk to my children and my students about the importance of being kind … holding the door for someone or looking someone in the eyes and smiling at them … (and) how you could really change someone’s day with that,” she added.
Cenatiempo was inspired to write the book a few years ago when it seemed like many were forgetting how impactful kindness can be.
“Sometimes we might look at like things going on in the world and feel almost powerless — that was something I struggled with as a child and was always very sensitive to,” she added, “(but) we really can change the world with even just small acts of kindness.”
The story follows as one stranger’s act of kindness leads to another and another, impacting each person along the way.
For more information, visit amzn.to/2XII84G.