MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some days it feels like the world is more divided than ever. That division is what motivated an unlikely pair to try and do something about it.

At Fernbrook Elementary in Maple Grove, students are digging into some new reading material. It’s a new book called, “Be Nice. The End.”

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Lessons from the book are sinking in with students at the school. “If you judge people on how they look you’ll never really get to know the way they are,” said Peyton Jatko, a fourth-grader at Fernbrook Elementary,

Harper Helleen is also a fourth-grader at Fernbrook Elementary, “It’s just a really good message that you should not judge people but what they are doing and you should just be nice.”

Their temporary teachers are new authors and new friends. Bryan Skavnak, a kids golf coach, gained national attention for his Instagram motivational quotes. Wendy Kieffer Shragg, an abstract artist saw his posts and proposed a book.  It was recently published and called, “Be Nice. The End.” She explains to WCCO, “People always ask who this book is for. My answer is it’s for everybody. There really is not an age.”

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The book touches on inclusion, empathy and courage and how to have a conversation with someone when you don’t exactly agree.

Bryan believes the lessons make for better little humans.  They started working on the book the month George Floyd was killed, “I felt like we needed to do something the opposite. We needed to find the good in the bad stuff.  We needed to show people there’s still kindness and people who are willing to fight for what’s right.”

Shragg says this is her first time drawing faces. She says the images came from her heart and her head, but the title says it all, “That really just sums it up. Be nice, that’s the end period.”

“Be Nice. The End” is for sale at Twin Cities Book Stores and on the book’s website.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield