cover image Every Child a Song

Every Child a Song

Nicola Davies, illus. by Marc Martin. Crocodile, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62371-872-5

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Davies (A First Book of the Sea) pens a hymn to safety and freedom for children, using the metaphor of a song to express each child’s worth: “When you were born, a song began..../ A melody the world had never heard before.” Martin (Everything & Everywhere) visualizes children of various ethnicities growing up in a city of apartment buildings that feature flat roofs, clotheslines, and potted plants. As the children mature, their songs grow, too: “With each new step and word,/ your song picked up its rhythm.” Martin doesn’t represent songs visually; instead, in bold greens and blues, he signals the feel of release with birds swooping through the air above leaping, playing children. Images of children facing difficult situations (“No song should be worn away to silence..../ No song should be drowned out”) may need some contextualizing for young readers, but the ideas of freedom from want and security will be plain to all through this introduction to the idea of rights that belong to all. Ages 3–8. [em](Oct.) [/em]