It's Day 29 of our 30 Days of Diverse Picture Books. Tonight I'm really thankful for good friends. We spent the day with some friends at their annual Thanksgiving feast, which was loads of fun. Sprout got to show off his puzzle-building skills to a crowd. His latest trick is asking to be timed as he builds his 200 piece puzzles - he's going for a personal best. :)
Tonight's pick is also one that was a gift for Sprout from a great book-giving friend, just before our first trip to Disneyland as a family. It's a Small World is of course the recognizable (some might say painfully so) tune written by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman for Walt Disney's iconic ride. Yep, you know it - the one with all the dolls. Love it or hate it, we bet you know the tune.
In this book, illustrator Joey Chou has re-envisioned the lyrics of the song as a picture book. Now, I will say that it's just about impossible to read this one without singing the song, so don't even try, especially if your kids know the words. But the thing that makes this one just about the best is Chou's illustration style. He brings those familiar dolls of all nations to life, as children playing and laughing and singing together in a fresh way that still pays homage to the ride's origins. Readers see the cherubic youngsters sharing a Mexican fiesta, playing in a jazz club, and enjoying the sights on the African savanna. It's all spirited and full of whimsy.
It's a Small World will bring back memories of many parents' childhood, and is the perfect introduction to the ride for a new generation of readers. And it's a great message for us all to share - it is a small world, and we're all its citizens!
It's a Small World by Richard M. & Robert B. Sherman, published by Disney Press