Every Child a Song: A Celebration of Children’s Rights

Crocodile. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781623718725.
Gr 1-4–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 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.

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