Sunday, October 28, 2018

Review - All Are Welcome

All Are Welcome
by Alexandra Penfold
illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Date: 2018
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 44
Format: e-book
Source: library

A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yamulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Wow... Now that is a diverse children's book. Although, I guess if it wasn't, it would kind of defeat the whole purpose (and the title wouldn't make much sense)!

This simple rhyming picture book illustrates our differences and our similarities in a cute, accessible way. There are plenty of cultures represented, along with varied sexual orientations, family units, and disabilities. On the surface, it's a book about a school, but it goes deeper than that, too, with friendships that happen outside the classroom and parents who are brought together by their children's school events.

I've read some picture books that try too hard to include diversity; I found some of them a bit alienating, which is probably the opposite of what the authors were going for. In this case, though, this book doesn't try too hard to be more than it is. It doesn't need to. What we have here is a simple, uncomplicated look at diversity and inclusion. And it works.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.71 out of 5

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