The world is changing, and people are growing by learning more and taking action.”— Fourth Grader
Imagine my surprise on Inauguration Day when my partner texted me to share that he had gone ahead and preordered Amanda Gorman’s children’s book for my classroom! He just knew that my students and I needed it in our lives, and I was overjoyed when it arrived in the mail eight months later. I enjoyed it right away, admiring the poetic expectations Amanda Gorman holds for herself and humanity. I was captivated by how the illustrations were developed. Some pages were splashed with colors while others were a white canvas, forcing the readers’ eyes to focus solely on the people on the page. I pondered. . .Perhaps the creators really want to spotlight the care and intentionality behind each small action. Could it be that they want readers to see the beauty of diversity in many forms here? Or maybe this repeated visual pattern will nudge kids to consider how one young person can begin to make a difference. After all, this whole text is one big call to action!
Of course, it was most exciting to share this reading experience with children. I wondered, What will they love? What will they learn?
What do you love about this book?
- the rhyming
- how the character is helping people in need & putting them before herself
- that she always includes others
- the illustrations
Say more about the illustrations. . .
- They show people of all colors.
- They are full of acts of kindness.
- They spotlight unique differences.
What life lessons can we discover and share with the world?
I foresee our community of readers revisiting this text when engaged in social issues book clubs. I also envision us curating a text set about sparking change by designing a new library label and setting out the bin to be added to over time. Most importantly, I’m thinking about the messages nine and ten-year-olds saw within the pages of this book. If they can hold these lessons in their hearts, as society challenges them again and again, I have hope that our future generation can help change the world.