Touring Picture Book: All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

Welcome to my latest blog post. Today’s piece is part of Touring Picture Book which myself and three other book bloggers collaborate on. Our last post was on the wonderful book The Boy and The Bear by Tracey Corderoy and illustrated by Sarah Massini.

This post is our first Touring Picture Book for 2019 and what a wonderful book we are starting the year on. Those of you who are based in the U.S will be familiar with this fantastic book but for us in the UK it was published earlier in the year by Bloomsbury Children’s books.

All Are Welcome book cover featuring diverse characters.

Suzanne Kaufman has completed wonderful illustrations through out this book. They are colourful, playful and are representative of everyone. The book is the result of Suzanne taking action on travel bans that were being made by the U.S President last year. She wanted all children to feel welcome and with Suzanne’s daughter’s attending a school in the heart of a diverse community she wanted to share that we are special and all welcome. The poster that Suzanne made started being shared in other schools and when Alexandra Penfold saw the poster she wrote a book based on the characters she had seen resulting in this super book.

Pages from book All Are Welcome showing children from different countries.

The book is a celebration of diverse individuals, side by side, attending the same school. They are unique in their own way and that is something that is seen as so special in this book, just as it should. We can all learn lots from each other, whether that be our different routines, where we have travelled, the different clothes we wear, the different foods that we eat and more. No matter what, every child is welcome.

Written in rhyming stanzas with the repetition of the line All are welcome here, this book makes for a fantastic read aloud with a poignant message. It is a book that would make a wonderful gift to a school or library and of course is a great book to have in your home.

Pages from the book All Are welcome showing a diverse family.

The book would be a fantastic book to base a topic around exploring the world as there is so much to explore. From images of the map of the world showing where different children are from, sharing different foods and showing different families. I also love how the book  pays homage to the talented Dr Maya Angelou as at story time the children are listening to a story of a book that features the same dinosaur illustration as the book Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. This story would also be another element of the book that could be explored further. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition) is an empowering book that will make children think about being strong, being yourself and being courageous.

A page from All Are welcome featuring a diverse teacher reading Maya Angelou's book.

My young ladies were quite keen to complete a craft on food as at the end of the book all the children and their grown ups come together for a party.

We were inspired by some of the foods we spotted in the book. Of course we could have made these foods and eaten them but we wanted to make something that would last longer and that could be used when role playing cafes, chef and travel.

We made the different foods using different materials including card and wool.

Crafted foods on a paper place including pie made out of card.

We made a few different dishes including Chinese dumplings, chapattis, rice with a meat curry and a savoury pie. Food is a great way of bringing people together and our craft was very fun to complete together.

The three other bloggers that I collaborate with also have been busy reviewing and completing activities for their blog post. Do see what they’ve created also:

Acorn Books – Lego Braille Activity

Along Came Poppy – Activity

And, do head over to my Twitter page @mammafilz where I’ll be hosting a giveaway for this book!

If you enjoyed this blog post I would recommend the following blog post too Exploring the lives of children from around the world through picture books.

  Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers who have kindly supported us in choosing All Are Welcome for Touring Picture Book. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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