One in a series meant to help educators and caregivers help kids be their best.
This volume features a group of diverse children (collectively referred to as the MVP kids and named only in backmatter) of different races, abilities, and religious backgrounds. As they interact, the rhyming text affirms and values their diversity, but it neither delivers a story nor develops characterization. “There are many ways we’re different— / How we look, play, talk, or eat, / what we’re good at, what we like, / or how we move along the street,” reads the text on one spread, with others homing in on specific scenarios. The accompanying illustrations resemble animation stills but are notably stiff, even when children (all illustrated with ungainly, disproportionately large heads) are depicted in active scenes, such as one of a child using a rollator while playing freeze tag with children who have no visible disabilities. Backmatter offers “Helpful Teaching Tips” to encourage observational speech as opposed to judgmental comments and questions (eschewing “(not) normal” for “(not) typical,” for example), and it advocates listening to others’ preferences when describing differences (for example, perhaps adjusting phrasing to refer to “a child with autism” as opposed to saying a child “is autistic”). Companion titles Counting Critters, Treasured Wisdom, and The Way We’re Made feature the MVP kids learning about number sense, respect for elders and their knowledge, and self-esteem, respectively.
Well-intentioned but far more prescriptive than engaging. (Picture book. 4-8)