Reviews for It takes a village

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-Gr 2-In this warmhearted appeal to our better angels, Clinton reminds us how change comes about. Also that community, a sense of purpose, and kindness toward others begins at home. In spare lyrical text that plays with the proverb "It takes a village to raise a child," and is enhanced by Frazee's lovely pencil-and-watercolor vignettes, the book shows how children and their grown-ups come together to build a playground. The scene opens with a barren hillside and a bare tree; then, the intergenerational villagers come together, roll up their sleeves, and contribute to the project, each in his or her own way. Viewers are told that "Kindness and caring and sharing matter. Playing matters too. And resting. Because the world is in a hurry, but children are not." As the structures grow and their labors bear fruit, the passage of time is reflected in the greening landscape, the colorful plantings, and the pink blossoms of the large majestic tree as the park's centerpiece. In conclusion, Clinton expands the metaphor to state "Children are born believers. And citizens, too. Let us build a village.worthy of all children." The book's stunning endpapers feature American flags, with communities rising from each of the stripes and a rainbow on the horizon. VERDICT A picture book to share with library audiences, families, and friends. Any audience that champions the abilities and potential of children will appreciate and promote its wise sentiment.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A group of children sees the potential of a hill with a lone tree; the kids discuss their idea with parents, who in turn bring it to others. After the community pitches in on construction, a beautiful playground--with the pink-blossomed tree at its center--is the result. Frazee's vignette-style pencil and watercolor art shapes Clinton's spare text into an inspirational full story. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Although it shares a title with Clinton's 1996 work calling for a social commitment to children's welfare, this picture book offers just 16 sentences spread over 40 pages illustrated with Frazee's customarily humanistic detail. The sentences don't begin to attempt a narrative, amounting to little more than a sequence of platitudes: "Sometimes it takes a child // to make a village. // We all have a place in the village, a job to do, / and a lot to learn. // Kids don't come with instructions. / But neither do grown-ups!" The illustrations, however, do provide a visual storyline, starting with three kidsone black, one Asian, and one whitewho look up at a bare tree, then talk to their grown-ups, who talk to more people, leading to the community's coming together to build an elaborate play structure beneath what turns out to be a cherry tree. In choosing this particular, child-friendly narrative, the illustrations miss opportunities. The lines "Every family needs help sometimes. Kindness and caring / and sharing matter" are illustrated with pictures of children sharing out snacks for the work crew rather than images of meaningful sharing across class divides, for instance. For all Frazee's careful inclusivity (a diversity of ages, races, and family constellations can be discerned, and one character uses a wheelchair), ethnic or faith-based attire indicating further diversity seems to be absent; there are no turbans, saris, or hijabs, for instance. The book reaches for inspiring but stalls out at bland. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Readers would be forgiven if they didn't realize Hillary Rodham Clinton had another book out this fall. Rather than a look back, this is a look forward, a clarion call that invites children to make the world their own world a better place. Adapting the title of Clinton's 1996 book, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us, this oversize volume is illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Frazee, who uses the construct of townspeople building a playground to warmly personalize Clinton's earnest text. We all have a place in the village, a job to do / and a lot to learn. Sometimes, it's not quite clear if the words are directed to adult readers (Every child needs a champion) or to a younger audience, but the pencil-and-watercolor art connects the spare statements into a story. Children look at a tree, and see more. They bring their ideas to the community, and the community responds with equipment and expertise; through sharing and caring, a project is brought to fruition. The final spread, showing an elaborate tree house dominating parkland, with all the village enjoying it, makes the book's important point both literally and metaphorically.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2017 Booklist

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