From School Library Journal
Grade 2–6—Proclaimed by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, these rights apply to every child and adult throughout the world. Amnesty International has taken the 30 articles that comprise the Declaration and simplified them in such a way that they are clear to elementary school students. Each right is illustrated by an international array of well-known artists. Some of the pictures are downright cozy, such as Bob Graham's peacefully sleeping child surrounded by toys for Article 12, "Nobody should try to harm our good name." It is followed by Alan Lee's somber pen-and-ink drawing of folded paper cranes that have come to grief on a barbed-wire fence. The text of Article 13 reads: "We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel abroad as we wish." Other artistic interpretations are provided by John Burningham, Niki Daly, Polly Dunbar, Jessica Souhami, and Satoshi Kitamura. This is an important book, best shared with children in a setting where discussion of both the rights and the illustrations is encouraged.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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*Starred Review* Amnesty International has promoted the values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the last 60 years. To honor the signing of the document, each of its 30 articles, written in terms children can understand, is illustrated here by artists who beautifully bring these concepts, both basic and profound, to a child’s level. In the first spread—“We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety”—John Burningham portrays a park in which children of all races and colors play together, capturing not just the image but the essence of the words. Some of the statements are not easy to illustrate for this audience, but the artists are up to the task. For instance, Jane Ray represents “Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us” in the form of a bloodied Raggedy Ann–style doll, shown across two pages on an expanse of white. The pictures range from realistic to fanciful; some of the art mixes both. Handsomely reproduced, the illustrations expand and enhance the powerful words. So much to look at, so much to discuss. Grades K-3. --Ilene Cooper
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