"With eloquent prose and vivid illustrations, Davies and Martin commemorate the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Davies uses an extended metaphor to compare a child's individuality and hope to music. Martin's illustrations depict light-skinned and brown-skinned children as well as spirited, colorful birds. Both the prose and illustrations adopt a somber tone midway through the narrative; the text acknowledges that not all children are afforded the rights they deserve. Davies writes, "No song should be worn away to silence...no song should be drowned out...nor stolen, and made to sing the tune of darkness, hate, or war." Martin's illustrations depict a light-skinned child sitting in darkness; the room's one window has bars. Following this scene, birds take flight amidst storms and chaos, and the text concludes by asking readers to join together to advocate for the rights of all children around the world. The text does not feature all 54 articles from the UNCRC, but this title is a poignant introduction to children's basic freedoms. VERDICT A timely and appropriate picture book to discuss freedom, individuality, and equality with young readers. Gr 1-4"
"Celebrating the worth of every child and the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ' Spare free-verse text encourages each child to embrace their unique identity, but it also recognizes that they need and deserve the support of the community to reach their potential, in keeping with the UNCRC (selections from which appear in the back matter). As the title says, each child is like a song. Whatever melody a song sings, / each one is true and beautiful; / unique and special as your own.' A brown-skinned child with short, straight black hair skips down a road in an aerial view, a serene blue bird in the foreground. But in the next spread, a child stands alone, reaching for assistance as a throng of busy adults walks by, absorbed in their own business. While illustrations with sweeping splashes of rich color and minimal details don't shy from depicting the chaos and danger for refugees in a small boat in a storm and the darkness of forced silence, hate, and war, the overarching tone is positive. A scene of a multiracial group of people striding (and rolling, for a child in a wheelchair) with purpose accompanies the hopeful text: 'For together, we raise our voices / for the right of every song to sing out loud, bold and unafraid.' Front endpapers show a single flying bird while a flock of multicolored birds soars on the back endpapers. Perfect for one-on-one and small-group reading and guaranteed to provoke discussions around self-worth and social justice. (Picture book. 4-8)"
With its exquisitely lush illustrations and lyrical messages of peace,Every Child a Song is a gorgeous, inclusive picture book that celebrates the inherent value of every humanand therefore all young readers around the world. It's an important literary and social justice shelf addition for caretakers, librarians, educators, therapists, and anyone who shares the belief that children have the right to receive what they need to thrive."
– Lexi Walters Wright, High Five Books, Florence, MA
"Every Child A Song is a breathtaking, lyrical picture book about what every child deserves. This book provides an excellent introduction to the UN and the meaning of human rights. Alongside Martin's vibrant illustrations, Davies' words affirm the inherent value of each child and celebrates their unique qualities. A truly special book destined to become a classic in children's literature."
– Koki Mulugeta, Educator, Hadley, MA
"Every Child a Song gave me goosebumps, it is so good! The story deepens with each page, and families of all kinds will find beauty, truth, and inspiration within its binding."
– Peg Duffy, Booklink Booksellers, Northampton, MA