BOOKS

cover of What Makes us Unique?
What Makes us Unique?
Dr. Jillian Roberts, illustrated by Cindy Revell Orca Book Publishers, 2016 32 pages, $19.95
*****
Reviewed by Elena Vandergeest

What Makes Us Unique? is a picture book that can serve as an effective teaching tool to facilitate meaningful conversations about diversity and acceptance. The colourful illustrations are reiterations of the importance and value of diversity and acceptance since “just like [a] rainbow, the world is made beautiful because it’s filled with many different kinds of people.” The book has several sections that examine what makes us different and what these differences mean.

This picture book can support an educator in establishing a classroom culture of respect and understanding. A salient message of the book is that “we should always try to understand and respect people’s different ways of being in the world.” It is important for students to be consistently reminded that “even though there are things that make each of us different, we are all equally important…[and] we all deserve love, respect and compassion regardless of what we look like or how we live our lives.”

This book aligns strongly with several of the fundamental principles discussed in the revised health and physical education curriculum (2015), specifically the third principle that “physical and emotional safety is a precondition for effective learning in health and physical education.” This book is a great way to begin meaningful conversations about health topics that have implications for our students’ well-being. What Makes Us Unique? can serve as an engaging platform and mentor text for many conversations focusing on caring behaviours (grade one), relating positively to others (grade two) and factors that affect emotional development (grade three). Overall, this a great teaching tool for the primary educator.

Elena Vandergeest is a member of the Simcoe County Occasional Teacher Local.

MORE BOOKS

Cover of Eat Up
Antonia Banyard and Paula Ayer, illustrated by Belle Wuthrich Annick. Press Ltd, 2017. 72 pages, $14.95.
Book cover for Speaking Our Truth
Monique Gray Smith. Orca Book Publishers, 2017. 159 Pages $29.95.
Book cover for You Hold Me Up
Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel. Orca Book Publishers, 2017. 32 pages, $19.95.
book cover of louis riel let justice be done
David Doyle Ronsdale. Press, 2017. 200 pages, $24.95.
Book cover of Oral Language at Your Fingertips
Ontario Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, 2016 (To order visit osla.on.ca) 141 pages, $40.00.
Book cover for Migrant
Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault Groundwood Books, 2016 30 pages, $18.95.
Book cover for Arctic Adventures
Raquel Rivera, illustrated by Jirina Marton House of Anansi Press, 2007 47 pages, $18.95.
Book cover for Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged
Jody Nyasha Warner, illustrated by Richard Rudnicki Groundwook Books, 2016 32 Pages, 18.95.

Pages