As a mother of three, one of my biggest worries is that my children won’t feel included. Each day that I send my first grader to school I wonder: will he make friends? Will he be included in the games at recess? Will he make sure to include others? It is so important for young kids to learn to be kind to others at an early age because it is a skill they will use for the rest of their lives. I want my kids to know that no two people are the same, and we should celebrate our differences instead of letting them divide us.
Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis and Sarah Mensinga is a beautiful children’s book about being kind to others, appreciating each other’s differences, and being inclusive. The story follows two young sisters, Tru and Macy, as they set up and organize a play in the park. Kids from all backgrounds and of all abilities ask to join the play, and each child is accepted into the group and given a role in the play.
Everyone Belongs is written in a rhyming format that flows easily and naturally. The repetition of the same phrase about each child being perfect in their own way provides buzz words for my kids to recognize. They enjoy saying the phrase with me each time it comes up in the book, and they stay attentive waiting for the next chance to repeat it. The plot of this book is engaging and the message of inclusivity is clear throughout. The illustrations are detailed, beautiful, and colorful–perfect for holding the attention of young children. My kids take the time to enjoy the pictures on each page as we read, and they find new things to point out with each reread.
I really enjoy reading this book, and my children do as well. The plot is clear and straight forward which allows the reader to focus on the message it’s presenting without getting too wrapped up in the little details. Macy and Tru are the leaders of this story, and they set up the play and invite each child to participate on their own, without adult direction. I love that it is their idea to include everyone and how they are able to make each child feel a part of the group all by themselves. I hope my own children take this message to heart, and try to include others without having to be reminded.
While Everyone Belongs is a book I think most age groups would enjoy, I would recommend it for school-aged children. The message is presented in a mature way, which I think will be best understood by ages five and up. My children are three- and six-years-old, and while they both enjoyed the story, my six year old was more engaged in the meaning behind the words. However, my three year old still enjoyed the pictures and was attentive throughout the story.
After our first time reading Everyone Belongs, my son told me about a young girl in his class with prosthetic legs. We had the chance to discuss how prosthetics work and the strength required to use them. It was a great learning moment that this book brought about organically. Books provide amazing opportunities to teach and learn with our children, and this book is no exception!
We read Everyone Belongs often, and each time I get to remind my kids about things that make us different, but special. This book’s message is something that would benefit every child. I look forward to rereading Everyone Belongs with my children for years to come!
What did you think of my Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis Book Review?
What are some of your favorite children’s books? Let me know in the comments!
Popular books from the author
Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis
Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis and Sarah Mensinga is a beautiful children’s book about being kind to others, appreciating each other’s differences, and being inclusive.
Read more reviews on the book index here
Different: A Great Thing to Be by Heather Avis
Genre: Fiction/ Children’s
Even though Macy looks like you and me, she is also very different! Help children learn to celebrate the differences in each of us with this beautifully illustrated story of a girl who discovers how being different can be amazing.
Read more reviews on the book index here