Featured Speaker Sonia Manzano at ALA Virtual Conference

It’s always good to hear “Maria” from Sesame Street! Sonia Manzano was talking about her new picture book with National Geographic Kids, A World Together.

It’s a book about empathy, with photographs of kids from all over the world.

Our world is surely interconnected. She mentioned the song they used to sing on Sesame Street about “Co-operation makes it happen….” Working together is the best way to go — but now it’s seen as a sign of weakness.

Children mimic the behavior of denigrating co-operation. It’s more important than ever to show the value of co-operation.

This is her first book working with photographs, so she reflected on the power of images. She remembered her own fascination with photos of Puerto Rico when she was a kid. Her parents were from there, but she’d never been. Photos bring depth.

She hopes it helps kids not to be fearful of kids who don’t look like them. This is a celebration of everybody in the world.

Images in books give children room to use their imaginations.

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