This week I’m reviewing a new book that was only released this week. I am in love with it and highly recommend it. I think every classroom should have a copy!
Title: We’re All Wonders
Author & Illustrator: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Theme: Kindness, friendship
Opening: I know I’m not an ordinary kid. Sure, I do ordinary things. I ride a bike. I eat ice cream. I play ball. I just don’t look ordinary. I don’t look like other kids.
Synopsis: Auggie knows he’s not an ordinary kid. He does plenty of ordinary things. He feels ordinary. He just doesn’t look ordinary. Growing up as an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face isn’t easy, but Auggie is a wonder. He and his trusty sidekick, Daisy, play ball, eat ice cream, and use their imaginations to soar through their days together. They now it’s not just Auggie who’s different. Everyone is different, and everyone is a wonder—if only they could see it.
Why I like this book: This book stunned me when I read it in the bookstore and I knew I had to bring it home for my girls to read, too. I had seen the original novel, Wonder, on bookshelves and heard a little about it but hadn’t yet read it (that will change soon). Auggie has a facial difference that is depicted in the picture book as a missing eye, no nose or mouth, and different-sized ears. His mother calls him a wonder. I love the illustrations in the book and it ignites some wonderful conversations with kids about how we all look different, but we’re the same inside. And we’re all wonders. I love the closing message: “Look with kindness and you will always find wonder.”
Resources/activities: On release day, R.J. Palacio recorded a Facebook live session with New York Times Books. She read the book, discussed the process of bringing the picture book to life, as well as drawing live. It’s amazing to watch!
These resources are for the novel but they may be useful to accompany the picture book too.
Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.
(Note: this post contains affiliate links, I’ll get a teeny percentage if you purchase the book through my link.)