The last time we went to the library, I thought it would be fun to find a book that would tie in nicely to the Olympics. I didn't have anything particular in mind and I certainly wasn't expecting to find an Olympic type book when I went to see what Mem Fox books were on the shelf, but as soon as I saw this story, I knew this would be just the thing. The Olympics are inspiring in so many ways, but the thing I love most about them is the way they unite people from all over the world. It's awesome, isn't it? As a geography teacher, I was always hoping to instill in my students an appreciation and respect for other cultures and people. As a parent, I do the same, hoping that my children will always know that we have far more in common as humankind than we might always be able to see. Although we might seem very different from other people around the world, deep down, we are the same.
In this sweet, simple story, beloved Australian author Mem Fox celebrates the diversity of our beautiful planet, reminding young readers that every day, all over the world, children are smiling, playing, laughing, crying, and learning, just like them. "Their schools may be different from yours, and their lands may be different from yours. Their lives may be different than yours, and their words may be very different from yours. But inside, their hearts are just like yours, whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world." Leslie Staub's colorful illustrations and Fox's gentle, repetitive verse make this story perfect for even the youngest readers, though its message is an important one for readers of all ages. No matter how different we might seem on the outside, the things that unite us will always be far greater than those that divide us.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.