Welcome to a new year for the Touring Picture Book , we took a short break over Christmas and it has taken us a couple of weeks to line...

Touring Picture Book: All Are Welcome Here & Multicultural People Craft

Thursday, February 28, 2019 BookBairn 4 Comments

Welcome to a new year for the Touring Picture Book, we took a short break over Christmas and it has taken us a couple of weeks to line up some truly awesome books to share with you. If you're new to the Touring Picture Book, here's a short recap: four of us, all parents, blogging predominantly about children's books, share one of the most interesting new releases that we have lovingly selected from a very long list. We all share our reviews of the book from our own perspectives - I love this part as we all see something a little different in the books, showing, to me, that one book can be many different stories to different people - and then we share a follow-up activity you can do with your children or a connection that we have made to the book that you might find helpful to think about.

And it has taken us a whole month to come up with the next couple of books as there have been so many interesting new releases already this year! But we are starting with an inspirational one!

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman is a must for every children's bookshelf, classroom and library. And I don't say that lightly! (We were accidentally sent a second copy from the publisher which I immediately donated to BookBairn's nursery as I want as many children as possible to have experienced this book!) 

This is certainly a book to experience as well as read. It's a celebration as much as it is a story! Following a group of children in their school and throughout their day in school, this book shows a school where diversity it's at it's heart. Everyone is welcome no matter their race, religion or background. this story shares an uplifting celebration of cultural diversity and belonging where all children are welcome in the classroom. With children wearing hijabs, patkas, baseball caps and yarmulkes playing and learning side-by-side the illustrations in the book create a world where all the children belong. With scenes of the children pointing to their family's countries of origin, and the children gathered on the floor in a circle drawing illustrations of families of all sizes and colours and a playground full of happy children having fun together this is a really welcoming book! You will want to jump into the illustrations. The accompanying poem (it's definitely more a poem than a story) lets readers know that what they see in the illustrations is reinforced by the language of the school and community: everyone is welcome, they all have a place, they all have a space, no matter what. The school also has children of a variety of abilities including a blind child who carries a whitestick and a child in a wheelchair, reinforcing the lovely message of inclusion. I particularly like this quote from the lyrical text:

"We're part of a community.
Our strength is our diversity.
A shelter from adversity.
All are welcome here."

That, for me, sums up what I want a school, and a wider community, to be and to cherish. This book is so wonderfully executed and really lives up to it's important message! If you would like to watch a video of the story being read aloud I've linked that here. Such a wonderfully uplifting book!

Multicultural People Craft

BookBairn and I haven't done much craft since before Christmas so I thought it would be fun to make some people inspired by the characters - particularly using the cover illustration. 

I picked up some coloured paper in a pack of different skin tones and cut out some people shapes for her to choose from. We then raided our craft box for coloured paper, felt, buttons, ribbon, googly eyes and a whole manner of bits and bobs and got cutting and sticking. Such an easy set-up and would be great to do in a classroom as the kids could work on it independently.

BookBairn had very clear ideas of the sorts of characters that she wanted to create - mostly girls (I had to persuade her to make a couple of boys! She is only three!) and she really enjoyed the freedom to create rather than replicate. I found this really interesting to watch. She required quite a lot of help with the cutting but she did have a go so this is going to be a sort of activity we revisit, under different guises, to encourage her to develop this skill further. But mostly it was lots of fun to do together!!

On a side note, if you are planning on using this book in the classroom, I have seen some great teachers at the start of the year getting each of the pupils in their class to create their own personalised pot of skin tone paint. A whole lesson dedicated to mixing just the right shade for your particular skin tone - showing that each tone is valued in itself and also creating a resource that the children can use all year. This is definitely something I would do with my class! Cassie Stephens has a great tutorial for this lesson here.

Check out the other activities happening across the Touring Picture Book Club and pop over to our Twitter to be in with a chance of winning a copy of All Are Welcome of your very own!

Acorn Books - Lego Braille Activity

Along Came Poppy - People Paper Chains Activity

Mamma Filz - Homemade Crafted Food

And look out for our next touring picture book which will be In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon by Frann Preston-Gannon.

And if you've popped over from one of the other fabulous blogs - hello! And our regular readers - hello to you too! We would love to hear if you have any signed books that you love!

Happy Reading!
Mummy, BookBairn and the Touring Picture Book Team!

Disclaimer: all four bloggers were sent copies of the book after we reached out to the publisher and requested them and we were provided with an additional copy for the giveaway. Words and opinions are each of our own. 

If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-70p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. And by using our Audible links I receive what is called a 'bounty' but is also a type of commission. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.

Read With Me


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This would be a perfect book to use in schools!! #readwithme

  3. I really love your craft, looks like it was a gorgeous activity for bookbairn to do. #Readwithme