Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I have the right to be a child by Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty and translated by Sarah Ardizzone

I seem to have accidentally collected quite a few books on the topic of the rights of the child.  I have the right to be a child is one I spied at the IBBY Congress.  In our library we already have three other books on this topic all of which I love to share with Grade Six students when they are working on the HSIE topic of Global Connections.  These all use a wonderful range of award winning illustrators.  The titles are : We are all born free, A children’s chorus  and For every child.  It is interesting to compare how each illustrator interprets the same “right”.

In this book, I have the right to be a child, the style is more conversational.  “I am a child. I’ve got eyes, hands, a voice and a heart. But have I got rights?” “Do I have the right to a roof over my head? A home that isn’t freezing cold or baking hot.  A place I can feel safe – nothing fancy, but with everything I need.”.

When I talk about the rights of a child I like to give the students a set of photos showing children living in very different circumstances to our own.  We use these to compile a list of basic rights. It is interesting to see ones the students mention and the ones they just don’t think of for example special rights for the disabled, the right not to have to work and as this new book says : “Why should I suffer any kind of violence? Nobody has the right to abuse my childhood. Nobody!”.

This new book has only one illustrator but it will make a perfect addition to my collection. It will also compliment the books I have collected about the topic of peace such as The Peace book by Todd Parr and What does peace feel like? by Vladimir  Radunsky.

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