Review of Every Child a Song, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Marc Martin

Every Child a Song

A Celebration of Children’s Rights

by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Marc Martin

Crocodile Books (Interlink), 2020. 36 pages.
Review written December 29, 2021, from a library book

This beautiful picture book honors the thirtieth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it does that by celebrating the beauty of each child who is born.

In pulling out clips, I find myself wanting to quote the whole book. Here are the first two spreads:

When you were born, a song began.

Sometimes it didn’t sound much like a song.
Sometimes no one could hear it.

But it was there in every heartbeat,
every breath; tiny, fragile, and unique.

A melody the world had never heard before.

The book goes on to talk about the love and safety the song needs to grow and about how as you learned and grew, your song soared.

All around you, everywhere,
other songs are singing.

Some are loud,
and some are quiet,

some sing a single note
and some a symphony.

And then we have some pages about what each song should be protected from.

Even among storm and change and danger,
every song must be heard above the noise
and chaos of the world.

And the book ends by celebrating each child’s song.

For together, we raise our voices
for the right of every song to sing out loud, bold and unafraid.

This is a simple picture book with lilting language. The pictures mainly use soaring birds as a metaphor for the songs. There are some hints of danger in the pages about what children should be protected from, enough that an adult reading the book could skip over it or simply explain a little more. There are notes about the UNCRC at the front and the back.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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