It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
The Sun Shines Everywhere [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrations by Luciano Lozano
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers (2019)
ISBN: 0316523844 (ISBN13: 9780316523844) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
Written in rhyming text, this is a joyful story about children living in Paris and Delhi, China and Rome, experiencing the sun in their faces, wherever they may be.
It is a light-hearted narrative depicting various cultural realities bound together by a similar experience of the sun being a constant in their lives, regardless of how varied each one’s environment may be. Most “multicultural” or global narratives have been traditionally packaged in this manner, depicting a common thread that runs across each person, notwithstanding one’s cultural identity.
There is also a recognition that there are certain places where the sun may not shine as much (see image above), which would be a good take-off point for discussion about various habitats – and the many things people take for granted. I am especially grateful that in all the places I live, I see the sun shining brightly 365 days a year.
At the very core of this book is the recognition of how much we all need the sun to survive – and that its presence is enough to make anyone smile and feel “glad to be alive!” I think we need this cheerful note more than ever.
Most People [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by Michael Leannah Illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris
Published by Tilbury House Publishers (2017)
ISBN: 0884485544 (ISBN13: 9780884485544) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
I read this picturebook when it first came out in 2017, and haven’t had a chance to feature it yet. Given all that is happening in the world today, I thought the hopeful and positive message in this book would resonate with you all.
It is a comforting read that expresses how “most people are very good people.” In the Author’s Note, Michael Leannah explained his reasons behind the creation of this story:
Young children hear adults talking, they see things on TV, and they’re sometimes left thinking that the world is a place full of dangers and bad feelings. As a father, grandfather, and longtime elementary school teacher, it pains me to witness children being overly fearful of the world – of the people in the world. Yes, children need to be careful of strangers, but they also need to know that most people are good, kind, and helpful, and one of the great delights in life is reinforcing that knowledge through our daily interactions with others.
I like how the narrative also acknowledges that there are also bad things that some people can do. It is not a hollow, superficial message devoid of truth. It simply tempers children’s expectations by surfacing the good that is out there, regardless of the bad that also undoubtedly exists.
I don’t know about you, but this is a message that I felt I needed to hear now. It gives me hope, and makes everything worthwhile.