Touring Picture Book: All Are Welcome

Hello and welcome back to Along Came Poppy after our little blogging break. Today as part of the Touring Picture Book team, we are delighted to be sharing the wonderfully colourful All Are Welcome written by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman and published in the UK earlier this year by Bloomsbury.

This is the first Touring Picture Book of 2019 and as always we are collaborating with fellow picture book enthusiasts and bloggers Bookbairn, Mamma Filz and Acorn Books. We have all shared a different activity inspired by the same book so please do take a look at where All Are Welcome took each of us this month.

All Are Welcome

All Are Welcome is a beautifully diverse book which follows a group of school children through their day as they learn, play and eat together. It depicts a welcoming and inclusive community where all children are safe to be themselves regardless of their race, religion or background and where diversity is truly celebrated.

The book was inspired by Suzanne Kaufman's own daughters' school in the USA and the fun and colourful illustrations clearly show a school that is a warm and welcoming place to be. The children are all very relaxed as they share stories, play outside and lie on the floor drawing together. 

As well as the children being of different races and religions, encouragingly the illustrations also recognise different family dynamics such as same sex couples and single parents. There seems to be a real sense of community especially when all the families come together at the end to share their different types of food. In Yorkshire we call this a fuddle! Fellow blogger Mamma Filz has created a selection of multicultural craft food inspired by the book here.

The illustrations also include maps and flags, which make a brilliant conversation starter to talk about people coming from different places around the world. The final page of the book has WELCOME written in many different languages, which encourages children to consider different world languages and how we communicate with one another. Anna from Acorn Books has written about how this section of the book inspired her and her boys here.

This rhyming story reads like a poem and lends itself perfectly to be shared aloud. It has an almost chantable quality and it is brilliant for little ones to join in with. Here's our favourite extract, which highlights the important message this book carries and why we feel All Are Welcome deserves a place on every child's bookshelf:

We're part of a community.
Our strength is our diversity.
A shelter from adversity.
All are welcome here.

Paper Friends

Inspired by the cover art of All Are Welcome, we made our own multicultural paper dolls or friends. Holding hands they represent the idea of community and, of course, each doll is different as a celebration of diversity. As it was half term and Grandma was visiting, our dolls were lovingly created by three generations of picture book fans! Kim at Bookbairn was also inspired by the cover art to create some multicultural people, you can take a look at how she got on here.

We hope you enjoyed our post and don't forget to take a peek at what our Touring Picture Book buddies got up to this month:

Acorn Books - Lego Braille Activity
Mamma Filz - Homemade Crafted Food

Until next time, HAPPY READING!
Kate & the Mini Reviewers xx

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this post, our opinion is as always our own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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