|All are welcome|
Author: Penfold, Alexandra
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/01/18)
School Library Journal (08/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2018 Meeting a challenging topic with buoyant enthusiasm, this colorful picture book celebrates a school where all the students from a diverse community feel welcome. The rhyming verses create a sense of unity, as if students and staff are speaking in a happy chorus: “No matter how you start your day. / What you wear when you play. / Or if you come from far away. / All are welcome here. / In our classroom safe and sound, / Fears are lost and hope is found. / Raise your hand, we’ll go around. / All are welcome here.” While some verses are complete within one double-page spread and others extend over several, their upbeat tone and inclusive message remain consistent throughout the book. The illustrations are big, cheerful collages created with acrylic paint, ink, crayon, and digital elements. In many scenes, white backgrounds brighten the colors and make the individual figures of children stand out more distinctly. On the book jacket’s reverse side, a poster vividly proclaims the book’s theme: “All are welcome.” A lively, timely picture book. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—Readers follow school kids from a rich diversity of backgrounds in this exuberant and inclusive work. Children wear yarmulkes, dress in hijabs, and some use wheelchairs to get around. They play together, learn together, and share their different cultural traditions. The students learn about and take part in a Dragon dance for the Lunar New Year. The book also depicts a wide variety of family types; there are children with a single parent, those with two moms or two dads, or kids who have parents from different racial backgrounds. The pictures are bright and eye-catching, using a variety of media (acrylic paints, ink, crayons, and collage) to create the colorful cartoon images. The easy flowing rhyme says it all: "We're part of a community./Our strength is our diversity./A shelter from adversity./All are welcome here." The text and illustrations will prompt many thoughtful questions from young ones. VERDICT A positive book to have in any library collection, and a great read-aloud selection to start the year and revisit time and again.—Barbara Spiri, Southborough Library, MA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.