Every Child a Song
A Celebration of Children’s Rights
By Nicola Davies • Illustrated by Marc Martin$ 17.95
For every book purchased we are donating 5% of the selling price to The Young Center for Immigrant Rights, a human rights organization that advocates for the rights and best interests of immigrant children.
“Perfect for one-on-one and small-group reading and guaranteed to provoke discussions around self-worth and social justice … Celebrating the worth of every child and the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child … illustrations with sweeping splashes of rich color ….” — Kirkus Reviews
About this book
An international look at children's rights, exploring global issues faced by children, encouraging compassion and empathy. Illustrated by award-winning illustrator Marc Martin.
When you were born, a song began…
So begins this lyrical and unique nonfiction picture book by award-winning children’s author Nicola Davies. With tenderness and heart, Nicola introduces young readers to the universal rights that every child is entitled to under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Using the metaphor of song, the book opens with the arrival of a newborn and its unique “song,” then pans out to explore all the essential things that every song needs to thrive—love, protection, a home, a name, the chance to explore and learn. In the latter half of the book, the issues of child labor, exploitation and war are sensitively introduced to emphasize that we all must play our part in championing children’s rights and offering support to those who need it most.
With deeply moving watercolor illustrations by award-winning artist Marc Martin, this is a book that encourages children and adults alike to speak up for young people all around the world, and to treat one another with compassion and kindness.
Crocodile Books, an imprint of Interlink Publishing, will donate 5% of the selling price of each book sold to The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, a human rights organization that advocates for the rights and best interests of immigrant children.
About The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights:
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is a human rights organization that advocates for the rights and best interests of immigrant children. It protects and advances the rights and best interests of immigrant children according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal law. It is a champion for the rights and best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children, making sure that wherever they land, whether here in the U.S. or in their home country, they are safe.
“With eloquent prose and vivid illustrations, Davies and Martin commemorate the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Davies uses an extended metaphor to compare a child’s individuality and hope to music. Martin’s illustrations depict light-skinned and brown-skinned children as well as spirited, colorful birds. Both the prose and illustrations adopt a somber tone midway through the narrative; the text acknowledges that not all children are afforded the rights they deserve. Davies writes, “No song should be worn away to silence…no song should be drowned out…nor stolen, and made to sing the tune of darkness, hate, or war.” Martin’s illustrations depict a light-skinned child sitting in darkness; the room’s one window has bars. Following this scene, birds take flight amidst storms and chaos, and the text concludes by asking readers to join together to advocate for the rights of all children around the world. The text does not feature all 54 articles from the UNCRC, but this title is a poignant introduction to children’s basic freedoms. VERDICT A timely and appropriate picture book to discuss freedom, individuality, and equality with young readers. Gr 1-4” —School Library Journal
“Celebrating the worth of every child and the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child … Spare free-verse text encourages each child to embrace their unique identity, but it also recognizes that they need and deserve the support of the community to reach their potential, in keeping with the UNCRC (selections from which appear in the back matter). As the title says, each child is like a song. ‘Whatever melody a song sings, / each one is true and beautiful; / unique and special as your own.’ A brown-skinned child with short, straight black hair skips down a road in an aerial view, a serene blue bird in the foreground. But in the next spread, a child stands alone, reaching for assistance as a throng of busy adults walks by, absorbed in their own business. While illustrations with sweeping splashes of rich color and minimal details don’t shy from depicting the chaos and danger for refugees in a small boat in a storm and the darkness of forced silence, hate, and war, the overarching tone is positive. A scene of a multiracial group of people striding (and rolling, for a child in a wheelchair) with purpose accompanies the hopeful text: ‘For together, we raise our voices / for the right of every song to sing out loud, bold and unafraid.’ Front endpapers show a single flying bird while a flock of multicolored birds soars on the back endpapers. Perfect for one-on-one and small-group reading and guaranteed to provoke discussions around self-worth and social justice. (Picture book. 4-8)” — Kirkus Reviews
“Written in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Davies’ newest picture book focuses on how special all children are upon entering the world and the promise they carry: ‘When you were born, a song began.” Every baby brings with it ‘a melody the world had never heard before’ and deserves to be treated as the unique individual they are and respected for what their existence can offer the world. Every child’s universal birthright should be to be loved and protected, to be heard and esteemed. The free-verse text and the impactful watercolor images reveal children being held, being fed, and being allowed to play and learn. A few darker illustrations show the hardships some children face,‘made to sing the tune of darkness, hate, or war.’ Colorful birds soar through the pages and represent both the song each child sings and the freedom each child merits. Ten of the 54 articles concerning the Rights of the UNCRC are listed at the book’s conclusion.” — Booklist
“With its exquisitely lush illustrations and lyrical messages of peace,Every Child a Song is a gorgeous, inclusive picture book that celebrates the inherent value of every human—and therefore all young readers around the world. It’s an important literary and social justice shelf addition for caretakers, librarians, educators, therapists, and anyone who shares the belief that children have the right to receive what they need to thrive.” — Lexi Walters Wright, High Five Books, Florence, MA
“Every Child A Song is a breathtaking, lyrical picture book about what every child deserves. This book provides an excellent introduction to the UN and the meaning of human rights. Alongside Martin’s vibrant illustrations, Davies’ words affirm the inherent value of each child and celebrates their unique qualities. A truly special book destined to become a classic in children’s literature.” — Koki M., Educator, Hadley, MA
“Every Child a Song gave me goosebumps, it is so good! The story deepens with each page, and families of all kinds will find beauty, truth, and inspiration within its binding.” — Peg Duffy, Booklink Booksellers, Northampton, MA
About the Author
Marc Martin is an award-winning illustrator, artist, and book maker based in Melbourne, Australia. Working with watercolor, gouache, and pencil, his work is a world of vivid color, rich textures and the occasional scribble. He is the author/illustrator of A Forest, LOTS, and A River, shortlisted for The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award 2017.