Tonight we're sharing a pick that seems to sum up the feeling we have at this time of the year, when thoughts turn to giving and sharing, and being grateful for all the blessings we've been given. Ashley Bryan's What a Wonderful World distills those thoughts nicely, using the classic lyrics by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele. Kids and parents alike will recognize this song, made famous by Louis Armstrong, just from the title alone. Sprout can't stand for us to read the words of this one -- we have to sing it, which is just fine by me.
Bryan's version has been around for quite some time, and it stands out as an example of how vivid illustrations can breathe new life into a familiar theme, or in this case song. Bryan brings his signature multicultural perspective to this work, weaving together people of various ethnicities through the storyline of a group of children putting on a puppet show. Louis Armstrong makes a cameo appearance, even working the puppet version of himself in the finale, where all the children gather to sing the last line of the song. It's a fantastic example of diversity, in which each individual is distinct but together makes a beautiful panorama.
Pick up What a Wonderful World at your library or bookstore, and share this one with a child this holiday season. It's an easy read that's impactful both in image and meaning, and one that reinforces the message we always try to send -- that the difference and variety between people, all people, is what makes this indeed a wonderful world.