"When we are young we play and sing. It’s a magical time full of wonderful things!"

Children playing together on a playground full of sunshine, fun, smiles, and lots of silliness—that’s the scene Corneau paints for readers in this book, complemented by vibrant, clear, and crisp artwork by Gennel Sollano. We are introduced to the main character, Jane, who is from Canada. Jane has blonde hair, green eyes, and a contagious smile. Soon we meet her best friends, who include Liya (from South Africa), Vinny (from Italy), Peter (from Greece), Hannah (from India), Ming (from China), and Kimi (from Japan). They all have two hands, two feet, and two eyes. Does it matter that some in the group have brown skin and some pink? Not at all, it seems. Sizes of noses, funny ears—even the cute dimple in Peter’s chin—these frankly are of no significance. Even when some adults and other children give them funny looks, it doesn’t faze Jane and her multiracial friends whatsoever. “We play, we laugh, we dance and shout,” writes Corneau. “We don’t care what ‘they’ talk about.”

Perfect for sharing with the youngest of readers and emerging readers, this bright and cheerful book brings to bear one of the most fundamental and important lessons of character as the very young are beginning to be acculturated into society, whether through preschool, kindergarten, or even when shared with parents and caregivers in the home. One interesting idea could be to read this picture book with a small group of children, taking time to notice these superficial “differences” between the children involved, while driving home the point that it is precisely these “differences” which make us all similar, but different, with a compassionate emphasis on our totality of similarities. Bravo, Corneau, because books like these are always welcome and significant in homes, school libraries, daycare centers, and the like.

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