Book Review: Together We Can
Together We Can
Written by Caryl Hart
Illustrated by Ali Pye
Published by Scholastic UK
Publication date: 1st August 2019
Summary (from Goodreads):
The perfect picture book celebrating friendship, compassion, diversity and togetherness in the world. Our friends are all different, but one thing is true, each one is quite precious and that includes YOU! Award-winning Caryl Hart and Ali Pye have created a beautifully fun-filled and vibrant picture book showing children forming friendships and displaying kindness and compassion.
The perfect rhyming read-aloud with joyous illustrations, this book celebrates diversity and inclusivity throughout and highlights how important togetherness is in our world.
A friend might help out when your class work is tricky…or scratch your right ear if your hands are all sticky!
Friends can be different and still get along.
There aren’t any rules, there is no right or wrong.
First impressions: I was excited to read this as soon as I saw it, for several reasons. I have read lots of books by Caryl Hart and really enjoyed them, as well as found ways to use them in my teaching. I am always actively seeking books which reflect the diversity of our world, whether it is in languages, cultures, abilities or neurological viewpoints.
I devoured Together We Can by @carylhart and @alipyeillo and really cannot wait to use it in the classroom. It is perfect for introducing all sorts of discussions about making our playground accessible, diverse and welcoming for all.
I loved how the natural rhyming text makes this fun to read aloud and listen to, encouraging children to join in with the repeated sections and anticipate the endings to the sentences.
The illustrations don’t just complement the text, but add even more to it, with a natural and positive representation of a variety of children from different countries, cultures and with various needs. I particularly liked how children with disabilities as well as those speaking other languages were both mentioned and I was glad to see a few pairs of glasses (something I am always looking for as glasses, too often, as used as a shortcut to show that someone is studious or as the ‘before’ picture in a makeover!)
This is a fantastic book, an essential for every primary or early years classroom or library and has so much potential as a resource for teaching.
All over the world, and from since time began…
…we show every day that…TOGETHER WE CAN!
Just look and you’ll see, there are friend everywhere.
What I liked: The inclusive message, presented in a no-nonsense, accessible and non-preachy way, accompanied by bright, vibrant illustrations leaving a positive image of what working together can look like.
Even better if: It is perfect! But I now know that I will need to get my hands on any future additions to this series too!
How you could use it in your classroom: I can’t wait to introduce this to my class! I am also planning to pass it to our deputy head as she has been doing lots of assemblies focusing around making our school an inclusive and welcoming place, particularly the playground. This book is the perfect way to spark off or deepen that discussion and I can see it being useful in PSHE lessons. I would love to read this and ask the children to come up with their own illustrations or their own rhyming sentences to describe their own school, playground and community.
There are also teaching resources available on the author’s website – click here to see them!
Click here to read an interview with the author Caryl Hart, looking at her journey to becoming a writer and the first book in this series, Girls Can Do Anything.
Some friends speak a language we don’t understand.
They still laugh together and walk hand in hand.
Some people need gadgets to hep them have…FUN!
Whatever they are, they’re great friends, every one.
What did other people think?
Sam @BookBound said:
“This is such a positive, catchy and relevant book to the intended audience and I can see this book being read over and over and cherished by many, I for one cannot wait to share this with early years classes at the school I work at knowing it will inspire the children to be the best they can be by showing consideration and compassion for others. The illustrations really compliment this exciting picture book and exhibit the energy from the characters and scenes perfectly and give the reader so much to take in and enjoy visually, ensuring children will revisit this book time and time again.”
(Thank you to Scholastic UK for kindly sending me a copy to read and review)
While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of House Without Walls, Home Sweet Home, Invisible Women, The Day War Came, Made by Maxine, Cinderella and the Furry Slippers, Mira’s Curly Hair, The Dictionary of Difficult Words, Stuck, or Dragon Dancer?
Thanks for reading!