Author(s): Charles R. Smith Jr.
Illustrator/Photographer: Charles R. Smith Jr.
Publisher and Year: 2013-Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 48
Tags/Themes: Danielle Burge, Coretta Scott King Award, Colors, Shapes, Sizes, Culture, Heritages, Global, Universal, Diversity, Rhythmic, Elementary, Children
Genre: Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Cultural
Descriptive Annotation: The book, I Am the World, presents a youthful description of diversity, strength, pride, joy, and beauty. The real-life photographs of children on each page deepen the meaning of the simple, rhythmic text. Each page explores what makes up our universe through children perspective. From historical figures to cultural pride to worldwide foods to cultural clothing to music everywhere and different languages, bringing these all together make up our diverse world. The book ends with a glossary explaining the cultural words or terms discussed throughout the book.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: In this book the cultural diversity is evident because the entire story is representing all of the diverse cultures and how they come together to make our exclusive world. Also, there are visual photographs representing cultural diversity that help further explain the text.
The language in the book is fairly simple and well suited for any elementary classroom. The rhythmic text keeps the reader engaged and wanting to read more. There are different cultural words and terms through out the book that may be difficult for some readers to decode and comprehend. The book does provide a glossary defining what those terms are.
Interdisciplinary Connections: I would use this book in a Social Studies lesson explaining how each culture is different and significant in their own way. Students need to be aware of cultural diversity because they will encounter other students in their school years who may be from a different culture than them and they need to be aware of how to handle that properly. This lesson could be all about social justice and how important it is to have in the classroom and outside of the classroom. Also, you could incorporate this book when creating your classroom rules. Have the students make the rules more social justice based with the supervision of the teacher.
Other Information: Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and portrayed the feeling of pride after reading it. I would use this book as a resource in my future classroom when discussing the significance of social justice and cultural diversity.