“All Are Welcome” by Alaxandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Alexandra Penfold’s book, All Are Welcome is a favorite in my home. Whenever we borrow it from the library (which is often), my 5-year-old and 3-year-old have me read it to them multiple times a day. Suzanne Kaufman’s colorful illustrations are a delightful pair to Penfold’s narrative stating “all are welcome here,” no matter one's appearance or background.
As the story is introduced, there is a paragraph explaining how this book is inspired by Kaufman’s daughters’ school, “where diversity and community are not just protected, but celebrated.” Through its fun-to-read rhythm and rhyme, All Are Welcome gives the reader a bird’s-eye view of a typical school day from sunup to sundown for students of all backgrounds at this particular school. The prose and illustrations combine to foster inclusivity and a sense of community as they highlight the students’ similarities and differences in a fun and light-hearted way.
All Are Welcome is an excellent book for any young reader! It would be perfect to read in a classroom, at home, or even at a library's storytime. I would especially recommend reading it to kids aged 3 - 8. Teaching kids the importance of inclusion and the beauty of diversity from a young age is imperative to raising them to be kind and accepting. All Are Welcome is the perfect place to start!
Egette was born and raised in a refugee camp in Tanzania, Africa. In 2021, she graduated with a B.S. in psychology from George Mason University. In 2022, she received her MA in psychology with a focus in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, also from George Mason. She was recently featured in Forbes on World Mental Health Day. She founded Safe Haven Space, to empower and educate refugee families in the US about mental health and wellbeing.
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