All Are Welcome in Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman’s picture book creation. Inspired by Kaufman’s daughter’s actual classroom, the diverseness of the school is presented in bold colors and variety of tools and techniques.
The images show children wearing a variety of clothing that many children (and a few adults) are not familiar with: patkas, hijabs and yarmulkes. Of course, there are baseball caps, too. There are different types of families (two parents, one parent, grandparents, same sex and biracial families). And there are all type of children: tall, short, in wheelchairs and all colors of the rainbow. While it is not necessarily obvious why they are gathering on this particular day (outside of it being just another day in school) it comes to light at the end that they are celebrating the Lunar New Year.
The best part is how you see the children interact with each other. They are shown laughing, eating and playing. There is nothing different about them. They are all there to learn and enjoy friendships they have cultivated.
Perhaps there could be more to the text than what there is. It is a bit abstract and repetitive. It works in a classroom setting (preschool to about first grade) but older children might find it too young. It could be difficult for the “solo child reading time.” If your child is not exposed to the diversity of people, this could be a way to teach them. The illustrations are the grab to the story. There are various pages that can be used (or are) posters.