Children's Book Review: All Are Welcome
A book about inclusion, a book about families, a book about community. This book is all of that.
Written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman, this New York Times Bestseller was published in 2018.
Alexandra Penfold lives in Brooklyn where she is currently a literary agent as well as an author. and grew up wanting to be an author. When she was younger, she would write stories about things such as grilled cheese sandwiches and getting a new dining table. I love this because it shows how creativity is linked to reality! You can learn more about Alexandra Penfold at her website - alexandrapenfoldbooks.com
Suzanne Kaufman lives in Beacon Hill, Seattle with her family and along with illustrating for books, she also writes and illustrates her own books as well as animates for television. She has quite a repertoire of work, which you can learn more about at her website - suzannekaufman.com
The story is set in an urban neighborhood. It begins with children coming to school and follows them through the day at school, afterschool activities, and finally at home. Through the journey we see in the illustrations, we are constantly reminded by the author that although we may come from different homes and cultures, there is room for us all and that we can learn, grow, and form a community together.
I love this because coming from a diverse community myself, I have lived that and feel more at home with a mix of different cultures and different experiences. To me, this is what makes great conversation! Skip past the weather and get to the good stuff, your experience as a human! I also love that the book is presented in a rhyming pattern. I have found that, especially in a classroom setting, books that have a rhythmic rhyme to them tend to capture the attention of the whole group. This is especially helpful for new teachers or starting a new classroom. For families at home, this book is a wonderful way to explore how other families may live their day to day life and what other families may experience in their homes.
Having a book that not only says it is important to make space for one another but also have illustrations that show such a vast representation of people is a wonderful addition to your library, whether at school or at home.
I highly recommend this book. Having representation through literature for young children is the first step towards inclusiveness and acceptance. If you want to build up your child’s empathy and love for all people, this is a great book. In simple illustrations, it shows so many different families and is a great jumping-off point to begin conversations of differing cultures.
If you are interested in picking up this book, you can find it here, here, and here.
Have you already read this book? Tell us your opinion! Do you have another book about inclusiveness and cultural exploration? Let us know about it!