Thursday, August 23, 2018

ALL ARE WELCOME by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman


This lovely rhyming book is perfect for starting off the school year and to keep on hand in the classroom for students to explore. I think I will have to buy a copy for my classroom.

Summary from the publisher:

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 yarmulkes 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.

All Are Welcome was written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2018.

Opening:     

Pencils sharpened in their case.
Bells are ringing, let’s make haste.
School’s beginning, dreams to chase.
All are welcome here.


My Thoughts as a Writer:

A lovely example of a rhyming story with a positive message for children. The repetition of the line "All are welcome here" is so effective. I can see myself using this throughout the year as a reminder, or even to post in the classroom. Brilliant word choice! I especially liked the way the illustrations show diversity & inclusion with different skin colors, clothing, and family groupings.


My Thoughts as an Educator:

This book upholds all the values that we see in a strong public education environment. There are opportunities for talking about individual differences, diversity, what it means to feel safe, how each child has their own unique story and how we can learn from each other. I plan to read this to my kindergarten students early in the year!

Ages: 4 - 7

Grades: K – 2

Themes: diversity, community, school

Activities:

Draw and Share: What is your special talent? What could you teach to others?

Discuss: What is your favorite page in the story? Why?

Make: Have students write the words "All Are Welcome Here" as a banner to put up in the classroom. 

Draw: Draw a picture of what you could do to make a new student feel welcome.

Create: Use yarn to create welcoming hearts for the fence at your school playground (see inside covers).






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