Love People Who are Different from Yourself
Welcoming others who are different from ourselves is a first step toward really appreciating how our differences make us stronger together. The aspirations in the book are not really so hard to make happen if we simply share with our kiddos the inherent value of others.
This picture book actually began with a banner created by Kaufman for her daughter's school, Kimball Elementary, where diversity and community are actively celebrated. The welcoming poster spread to other schools around the country. When Penfold saw it she was fascinated with the families and children in the art and wrote the rhyming story late one night.
Ideas for Making it Real
The very first thing you can do is to give this book to your child's classroom teacher. As a former teacher, school librarian and principal, I am of the firm opinion that every elementary classroom should have a copy of this book. And it should be read the in every room repeatedly throughout the school year.
While I am a big advocate of borrowing books from your public library, this is one you should also purchase for your child's home library. Then take lots of time reading and pouring over the illustrations with your kiddos. Don't forget the endpapers - the front is filled with everyone arriving for school and the back is filled with families waving goodbye to one another at the end of the school day. Children will find so many interesting tidbits throughout the illustrations - I found two books: Life Doesn't Frighten Me and a math book which shows up in just about every illustration!
Finally, how does your family celebrate others' differences?
The Stories Matter
Disclaimer: Most of the books reviewed can be found at your public library or purchased through your local bookstore.
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But, really, VISIT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY!