Review of Every Body: A Celebration of Diverse Abilities

A Celebration of Diverse AbilitiesEvery Body: A Celebration of Diverse Abilities
by Shelley Rotner; photos by the author
Preschool    Holiday    32 pp.
3/23    9780823451913    $18.99

From the moment readers open this book, they are treated to an album of beautiful, joyous children, all with one salient feature: “Everybody has a body.” But not every body is the same. There’s a youngster using a rollator who says, “I like to take a walk.” There are two bespectacled kids, one of whom shares the information that “glasses make me see better.” Other differences, such as one child who has “to get checkups for my heart,” are not apparent from the photos but are nonetheless noted in accompanying text. This photo-essay shows children participating in a range of activities, including rock wall climbing, swimming, and reading. The message—“Even though we’re the same in many ways, we’re different in our own ways too. Let’s be kind to everybody and every kind of body!”—has been expressed before, but rarely through such memorable images. Brief sketches of three of the children with disabilities as well as one adult advocate and a glossary of physical and learning differences complete the book.

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

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