We Share This School: A Community Book

Penguin Workshop/Rise X. (Community Books). Jun. 2023. 24p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9780593658253.
PreS-K–The board book format is put to excellent use as a handbook and guide to that first big unknown for preschoolers: the classroom. “A classroom is a place to share./ It is a place to grow./ It’s where you go to make new/ friends that you will get to know.” The straightforward sentences are reassuring all by themselves, but accompanied by Smart’s vibrant art, which seems a kindred spirit to the work of James Yang, children will quickly grasp the idea that they aren’t entering a frightening new arena as much as joining a welcoming community. From a blond child using a wheelchair amid children of a dozen light to dark skin tones to the text’s emphasis on diversity of food and clothing among peers, the book works tirelessly to display that without differences to define us, the world is far less interesting.
VERDICT A charming introduction to the big idea of school, and an angle that will resonate: it’s not the building but the people that make up a school.

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