All Are WelcomeAll Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All Are Welcome.

It’s a message we all need to hear.

As I shared this book with a group of first graders this week, I loved talking with them about what they noticed and wondered. “Why is she wearing that cloth over her hair?” “Why is he wearing that round thing on his head?” “Why are they sharing food?” Each of these questions leads us to talk about what we had in common and what was different from the characters in the books. For some classrooms, this book will provide a powerful mirror to show students that no matter where they come from or how they dress or eat, they are welcome. For most of my students, this book was a window into other cultures and traditions. While both sad that they didn’t have much experience with these other cultures, I was glad to share with them that these children had the same hopes and dreams as they did. Most importantly, all of us have the need to feel welcome. Perhaps these tiny windows will lead to greater understanding and openness to learning. I know it isn’t much, but it is a start.

This bright, happy and important book needs to be part of all of our libraries!

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