Reviewed by Heather Hann
Every Child a Song was written for the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This nonfiction picturebook explores the universal rights that every child is entitled to for young readers, using the metaphor of song, with the opening words ‘When you were born a song began.’ The atmospheric watercolour illustrations by Marc Martin and Nicola Davies’ carefully chosen poetic words combine, to produce an accessible and beautiful book, which sensitively explores difficult themes. It looks at what the song needs to help it grow, such as love, belonging and home and the things that can wear it away to silence, such as it being stolen, darkness, hate and war. It highlights the need for everyone to protect the songs. It finishes with a positive message for all these songs to join together to ‘sing love, sing joy, sing freedom!’
Every Child a Song is a great book to share as a class or for older children to explore on their own, perhaps as part of PSHE about rights and responsibilities or values work. The extra information about the UNCRC and the rights that the author explores in the book is an excellent starting point for further discussion. A fantastic book and a must-have for classrooms!
You can also read Nicola Davies’ The Day War Came, another good PSHE title.