Book Review of Children Who Dance in the Rain
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The Children’s Book Review
Children Who Dance in the Rain
Written by Susan Justice
Illustrated by Lena Bardy
Ages 4+ | 32 Pages
Publisher: Compassion Project Press | ISBN-13: 9781738677825
What to Expect: Friendship, India, privilege, gratitude, social justice
Children Who Dance in the Rain juxtaposes the comfortable, luxury-filled life that most children in the Western world are used to with the deprivation and hardship faced by many children living in poverty worldwide. Importantly, it illustrates what privilege really means and how readers can learn and grow from recognizing their own privilege.
Sophie has everything a young girl needs: loving parents, a comfortable home, good food, education, and luxuries like an electronic tablet. However, she is still unhappy: she wastes food, grumbles about taking vitamins or going to school, and rarely appreciates her home and parents. When Sophie’s parents organize a trip to India to visit her grandmother, Sophie grumbles about the dirty bathroom, lack of electricity, and absence of her favorite foods.
Then she meets Nanaki and everything changes. Nanaki has no parents, no food, and no money. She lives in a mud house and has to work hard to earn the money her sick brother needs to get medicine. Despite these disadvantages, though, Nanaki is full of joy and gratitude. With her help, Sophie learns to recognize the beauty in even the worst situations.
Sophie’s grumbles will be relatable to any reader, and her transformation into a powerful and considerate heroine is sure to be inspiring. Glowing, whimsical illustrations give readers a glimpse of the divine spirit of joy that Sophie discovers and provide visual confirmation of the contrast between Sophie and Nanaki’s lives. At the same time, simple language helps even beginning readers follow the story.
Children Who Dance in the Rain is an inspiring, instructive, and easily accessible introduction for readers to ideas about privilege and social justice.
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About the Author
Susan Justice, a dedicated children’s legal advocate and co-founder of a groundbreaking organization fighting child abuse, felt the urge to do something more. Diving into the world of books, she discovered a real lack of resources that gently tackled the world’s inequalities and encouraged kids to step up and help others. The harsh truth about widespread hunger and the limited access to basic needs like food, clean water, and education often stay hidden from children’s innocent eyes. Susan’s passion ignited, pushing her to shine a light on these pressing issues and inspire kids to get involved and make a difference.
As a loving mom of three babies, she constantly searched for ways to teach them important values and help them appreciate the resources they had, which many kids around the world could only dream of. With a determined heart, Susan embarked on a journey to create a book that would teach young people about the importance of gratitude, the power of believing in something bigger than themselves, and the amazing magic found in acts of giving.
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