Thursday, March 4, 2021

"We Move Together," Is a Fantastic Children's Book About Inclusivity

I'm on assorted press lists and received an email from AK Press about their upcoming book, "We Move Together." Due to release on April 6th, I was intrigued as someone who has worked and volunteered in positions that were dedicated to fostering inclusivity and diversity. I also have a child, my son Clarkson, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I want him to grow up in a World that values and includes him. Written by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire with illustrations by Eduardo Trejos, I loved my advance review copy I requested!

"We Move Together," is geared towards those in 1st-3rd grade with educational materials in the back parents or teachers can use to foster discussion with their kiddos. The book features a diverse cast of kids and adults, with numerous races, sexual orientations, and disabilities shown. We follow everyone as they tackle obstacles such as inaccessibility into businesses, disagreement on certain issues (the controversy of straws as environmentally harmful versus needed for those with disabilities), learning about differences, and focusing on fostering community building.

As this is a book geared towards younger readers it doesn't go too heavy on the text, instead carefully laying-out key things to consider while providing gorgeous illustrations. Fritsch and McGruire never come across as trying to shame anyone into accepting others, they just emphasize how when we provide access and opportunities to everyone, then in turn everyone benefits. Trejos excels at drawing the wide spectrum of individuals represented in scenes that are full of characters but which never feel crowded. His painterly-style isn't overly detailed or overly abstract. 

Trejos presents the World as it is--diverse--without exaggeration but puts in little touches that add whimsy such as a page where a group of children imaging being in a carnival starts-out with them in their regular clothes on the left side of the page (where our eyes start) and morphing into colorful outfits as we see their creativity on display. 

Between the great writing, lovely illustrations, and discussion-points at the end of the book, everything combines wonderfully in, "We Move Together." This book is a stupendous way to provide readers with a method to spark discussions about inclusivity and diversity. I'd recommend it to anyone who works with or is raising young children. You can pre-order the book at AK Press's website, at all finer bookstores, or request your library buys a copy!

5 out of 5 stars.

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