It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday!
There are many reasons that I have human rights and the rights of children on my mind right now. I recently read a number of books to my class including Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors and Donovan’s Big Day which led to discussions about everyone’s rights regardless of their gender or who they love, etc. We are also in the middle of an intense labour dispute between B.C teachers and the government. Rights are on my mind. The rights of children to an equitable, accessible excellent public education system are front and center. So I have been thinking books – and – here is where my thinking has led me . . .
We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures (with Amnesty International). (published 2008)
This book was published in association with Amnesty International to honour the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights. Each of the specific articles is illustrated by an international artist – most of them children’s book illustrators. Some of my favourite illustrators are featured including Peter Sis (who did the cover), Marie-Louise Gay, Polly Dunbar and John Burningham.
I have used this book in the past to just talk about one specific article and illustration at a time to begin a discussion or introduce another book on the subject (like children’s rights to an education or not to work).
I Have the Right to be a Child written by Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty (published 2012)
The afterward of this book explains that the rights outlined in the book were adapted from the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted in 1989 by the U.N. General Assembly. Gorgeous illustrations and child friendly language make this a title that can be read and shared in one sitting. I love the page about education:
I have the right to go to school without having to pay, so that I can learn how birds or planes or poppy seeds fly.
Whoever You Are written by Mem Fox illustrated by Leslie Staub (published 1997)
Soothing and celebratory, this is one of my favourite titles to introduce diversity and sharing the most important thing about ourselves with everyone – our humanity.
I have used this title when talking about peace, about diversity, about community or just because. It reminds us with gentle, lyrical text that we are all the same in many ways no matter how we look or where we are from.
Joys are the same, and love is the same.
Pain is the same, and blood is the same.
A School Like Mine: A Unique Celebration of Schools Around the World (In Association with Unicef) (published 2007)
A book full of photographs and information about children going to school all over the world. Students love reading about classrooms and families and how they are different and similar from their own.
Every Human has Rights – A Photographic Declaration for Kids A National Geographic book with a forward by Mary Robinson. (published 2008)
What I particularly love about this title is the poetry that accompanies the list of rights. All written by children and teens. The photographs from around the world make the rights so much more powerful, real and worth defending. I would share this book with intermediate students over primary children because of the more mature message in the poems and some of the photos.
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014! Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction titles.
My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 73/65 complete!