A WORLD TOGETHER by Sonia Manzano
A WORLD TOGETHER
A WORLD TOGETHER unites two major influences from my childhood - Sesame Street and National Geographic. Sonia Manzano and the other adults who brought this amazing show into my living room five days a week taught me (in the early 1970s) more about feelings and empathy than any teacher I had while National Geographic sparked curiosity, let me travel the world and grew that empathy I was learning from Sesame Street. It's exciting and feels completely natural and obvious for Manzano and National Geographic to partner for this picture book that is timeless and timely. When the pandemic has made the world so small for many of us and politics are dividing it, it is vital that we give children a window like A WORLD TOGETHER.
Manzano's texts toggles between encouraging curiosity (during my time as a librarian, I was always surprised by the lack of curiosity my students exhibited and wonder if being screen-fed images and information is the reason for this) and reminding readers that we are all alike in many important ways. She begins, "How many WONDERFUL people do you know? You know your FAMILY and FRIENDS. You know your NEIGHBORS and TEACHERS," and goes on to tell readers that there are about eight billion people on the planet. Manzano asks readers, "Do you wonder what kinds of HOUSES they live in?" and what kinds of foods they eat. Superb photographs capture the similarities and variety of experience on each page, sometimes with a single picture and sometimes with a collage as the text reminds readers, "All these people hug and show love in the same way you do. They get warmed by the same sun, and sleep under the same stars."
Manzano closes her book with the same emotional honesty and simplicity familiar to Sesame Street viewers;
Some days you might feel happy or sad, excited or worried, glad or mad. Everyone in the world has felt these feelings. And when people feel scared, they sometimes forget that deep down we’re all the same. But when they laugh together, they remember. And with laughter and love, we bring a world together. Isn’t that wonderful? That’s because the world is full of wonderful people, Just like you!
Back matter includes a map of the world and locations for all the photos in the book that readers will pore over.
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