The countdown to kindergarten continues in our household, and I'm happily filling our bookshelf with thoughtful back-to-school reads. This week, "All Are Welcome" is at the top of our must-read list. Written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman, this picture book is a great choice for discussions around diversity and inclusivity in the classroom.
The story unfolds throughout an entire day at school where everyone is welcomed and included in the day's activities. The positive and reassuring text is delivered in a rhyming style, and the illustrations are bright and vivid. Together, the text and illustrations deliver a celebratory read-aloud that is sure to spark excitement. A few pages into the story, my 4 year-old eagerly asked: "Will my school have music and art too?"
The overall message of diversity and inclusivity, especially as kids start school for the first time, is beautifully showcased in this book. Penfold writes it best as she describes the classroom vibe:
"We're part of a community. Our strength is our diversity. A shelter from adversity. All are welcome here."
Looking to reassure your child about first-day-of-school jitters? Trying to open a discussion around diversity with your kids? Needing an age-appropriate picture book that talks about inclusivity? "All Are Welcome" hits the mark on all these fronts. It even has a fold-out poster at the end of the book that features different flags and a diverse community.
You can check out Alexandra Penfold at alexpenfoldbooks.com,
and Suzanne Kaufman at suzannekaufman.com
More back-to-school picks next week :)