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WE'RE BETTER TOGETHER by Eileen Spinelli


A Book About Community

From the Highlights Books of Kindness series

by Eileen Spinelli ; illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64472-328-9
Publisher: Highlights Press

A tribute to human kindness, empathy, and mutual support.

In double-page spreads on unusually large board-book pages, different scenarios present preschoolers with a variety of ways to demonstrate acting in concert. A White family, including a very large dog, works together to clean up a large kitchen spill. A group of diverse kids helps a White friend who uses a wheelchair find a lost blanket. Two children, one White and one with dark hair and medium-brown skin, help a brown-skinned, hijab-wearing grown-up retrieve toys dropped by a stroller-riding tyke. The art is graphically clean and clear, with simple cartoon faces and geometric swaths of solid colors against white backgrounds; clear attention has been paid to diversity of racial presentation, gender presentation, and ability. A child with cochlear implants with straight black hair and medium-brown skin can be seen in two of the spreads, and a White child with light-brown hair wears glasses—even, strangely enough, in bed. The project ends with the youngsters in bed dreaming of all the good accomplished during the day. The following page includes quotes from 5- and 6 year-olds and the author describing things they have done to make the world a better place. The didactic nature of the text gets laid on a bit thick with the repetition of the “We’re better together…” refrain in every scene, but the lively art adds much-needed cheer.

Useful and jolly.

(Board book. 2-4)