Most People (Paperback)

Most People By Michael Leannah, Jennifer E. Morris (Illustrator) Cover Image
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2017 Gold Moonbeam Children's Book Award: For dedication to children’s books and literacy and for inspired writing, illustrating and publishing.

The world can be a scary place. Anxious adults want children to be aware of dangers, but shouldn’t kids be aware of kindness too?

Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris’s emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah’s words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the Goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well intended. Most People is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media.

Fountas & Pinnell Level M

About the Author

Michael Leannah was a teacher in elementary schools for more than 30 years and is the author of an instruction manual for teachers, We Think with Ink. His children’s fiction has been published in Highlights for Children, Ladybug, and other magazines. Author of MOST PEOPLE.  A resident of Wisconsin, where he is a father and proud grandfather.

Jennifer E. Morris is the author and illustrator of May I Please Have a Cookie?, Please Write Back! (combined sales over 1 million copies) and The Lemonade Hurricane as well as other children’s books. She also illustrates children's magazines, greeting cards, party ware, and educational materials and is the recipient of the Don Freeman Memorial Grant awarded by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Jennifer lives in rural Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Praise For…

Most People, we are told, love to smile and laugh. Most people want to help other people. Most people love the sunshine. Most people are good. There are some people who aren’t good, of course, but if you could line up all the good people and all the bad ones, the line of good people would be much, much longer. That simple reasoning is perfectly pitched for its young audience, who will enjoy piecing together the story-within-a-story of the two main characters as they illustrate the messages of the text within the context of their own lives. MOST PEOPLE works especially well because it doesn’t just tell children to “be” good. It shows them how to “do” good.


— R. J. PALACIO - NYT Book Review

Most People reminds kids that, although there are many scary events and images in the world, there are also countless examples of goodness.

— Caroline Bologna - Huffington Post

This offers a fairly simple and positive perspective on the world around us.
— Jessica Anne Bratt - Booklist

Most People is an inspiring choice to start a discussion on diversity, empathy, and kindness as well as on analyzing what we hear and see in and on the news. The positive perspective is welcome and provides young readers with comfort and examples of how people in general and they specifically can make a difference with even simple heartfelt gestures. Most People is an excellent book for home, classroom, and library bookshelves.


I still believe most people in this world are kind — and that’s the overall message of this heartwarming book. I love the sense of community and messages of kindness embedded in the story. I also like how the book explains with simple reasoning that people who do bad things can change — “there is a seed of goodness inside {each person} waiting to sprout.” The author’s note acknowledges that while children need to be careful of strangers, they also need to know that most people are good, kind, and helpful. Our children don’t deserve to be overly fearful of the world despite what they may see in the media.
— Charnaie Gordon - Brightly

This is a gem, and one I love having on my shelves to turn to during tough times.

— happily ever elephants

This reassuring picture book shows children that the world around them is filled with helpful and friendly people.  It is a book that brings a sense of safety to the young reader or listener, one that can help see their community and their school in a different way. It’s also a book that will start conversations about what kind of person they are and what positive changes they want to see in their world. The illustrations emphasize diversity and the friendly urban setting. The book follows the course of a day and ends with a beautiful city night and people seen through windows and on rooftops as a larger community.A strong and positive book that is important for children of today. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

— Waking Brain Cells

This book is a great resource for younger children to understand that even though bad things happen sometimes (as seen in the news, etc), that most people are good, kind and helpful. It reassures children that even though a few people may choose to do bad things, most people are kind and want to help others.
— Jill at KDL Service Center - Kent District Library Staff Picks 2017

"Most People" is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media and very highly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.

— The Midwest Book Review

 I love the sense of community and messages of kindness. I also like how the book explains that people who do bad things can change.  Because deep down aren’t all humans good people? I like to believe so or at least hope this is true. As the book states, “there is a seed of goodness inside {each person} waiting to sprout.”     The author’s note acknowledges that while children need to be careful of strangers, they also need to know that most people are good, kind and helpful. Our children don’t deserve to be overly fearful of the world no matter how much the media communicates this.  I think this book can help spark lots of great discussions with smaller children whenever tragedies strike as it’s easy enough to understand.  A great book to add to your home or school library.
— Mrs. G - Here Wee Read

"I love this book! It is a perspective not often found in children's books so directly, that most people in this world are good. I can't wait to order this for our library, and I will be recommending it to patrons."
— Librarian, Lakes Region Library

Most People is a lovely book that addresses the issue of people not always being good. No parent wants to see their child become disillusioned with the world, and this book helps deal with this concept in a kind and gentle manner. The lovely illustrations support the text, nicely depicting "not good" actions in ways a young child can grasp, such as stealing and vandalism. Since all children do things that are "not good" it also shows that someone can be sorry, change their actions and be forgiven. Nice book to deal with both sides of this concept - if somebody in a child's world has done something "not good", or if they have.

— Middle School Librarian

There is a significant volume of children's literature dedicated to creating awareness of the possible dangers of strangers. While this is a very important lesson for children, a story that highlights the goodness in people is a welcome change. This story would fit very well into a study of communities.
— Teacher

Product Details
ISBN: 9780884485551
ISBN-10: 0884485552
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Publication Date: July 7th, 2020
Pages: 32
Language: English