The message of this purpose-driven text is loud and clear: Recognize similarities, accept differences and appreciate both.
In this newly illustrated edition of her 1998 text, Gainer looks at diversity through six concepts: comparing, acceptance, listening, understanding, kindness and cooperation. The text itself is a laundry list of observations: “One of us is bigger, and the other is smaller. // … Some families have many people. / Some families have few people. // … We can tell each other about things we like and things we don’t like. / We can try our best to understand each other.” Certainly didactic, and unapologetically so. But that doesn’t make the lesson any less important. The well-intentioned text plods along at a steady drone—perhaps for a few pages more than necessary—but simple and direct instruction can be influential in starting a foundation for learning life lessons. Sakamoto’s illustrations are bright and cheery, providing necessary leavening. They are filled with children of all ethnicities and abilities. Such diverse objects as ladybugs, toy dinosaurs and hopscotch boards dot the page borders, giving readers plenty to examine. Backmatter includes discussion questions and reading tips for parents and caregivers.
Neither enchanting nor exciting, but grounded and easy to relate to. A starting point for diversity discussions. (Picture book. 3-6)