All Are Welcome: Welcome Back!

Random. Jun. 2023. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593430057; pap $5.99. ISBN 9780593430040.
PreS-Gr 1–It’s the first day of school, and despite the inevitable nerves, everyone is ready to reunite and begin a positive new year. As the sun rises, children all over town are getting dressed, eating breakfast, and finding their way to a new classroom. They settle in with a new teacher, prepared to learn, share, and grow, while welcoming everyone to their supportive educational environment. This early reader is well-suited to its target age group: the narrative appears in rhyming couplets and short phrases that are sometimes presented all together on one page or separated out among several. Thus, the text offers ample white space to encourage fledgling readers to advance with confidence from one page to the next. Within the rhyming sentences are familiar words with occasional challenging vocabulary peppered throughout. Though the pacing of each line is not symmetrical from one page to the next, the narrative flows smoothly for newer readers. Children will enjoy the cheerful and inclusive illustrations that accompany the text, especially as characters with a wide range of skin tones, cultural backgrounds, and abilities are depicted. All are welcome in this classroom, and the visual component is a testament to that fact.
VERDICT Approachable and inclusive, this early reader provides just enough of a challenge for young children who are preparing to enter a positive new school year.

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