By: Jeanette Winter
I think one of the most difficult lessons to teach children is that it’s okay to be different. In my fourth grade classroom it often feels like some students are trying so hard to be like everyone else that they don’t realize that their differences are what make them such wonderful little people. We often talk about how the truly successful people of this world not only accept their differences they embrace them. That is a tough sell to a 10-year-old.
Thankfully, we have books like Kali’s Song to help students begin to see how someone takes their differences and uses to be remarkable. Kali isn’t like every other boy tribe. He isn’t into hunting. That’s just not his thing. He would much rather make beautiful music with his bow than kill animals with it. This reminds me so much of a fourth grader trying to fit in on the football field because they think it’s cool.
Books like Kali’s Song will help young readers start to see that celebrating who they are and what they are passionate about is much more important than trying to be like everyone else.
I have no idea how to describe and explain the awesomeness of Jeanette Winter’s illustrations in Kali’s Song. I suggest you check out these resources to learn more about her mad skills as an illustrator.
Mr. Schu interviews Jeanette Winter at Watch.Connect.Read.
Travis Jonker reviews Kali’s Song at 100 Scope Notes