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We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures Hardcover – October 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Bks; illustrated edition edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845076508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845076504
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Wolfe on November 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am so excited about this book; it is really a great addition to your library. I teach third grade and I bought two copies-- one for my classroom and another for the eighth grade teacher. If you have religion lessons in your school (I teach at a Catholic school) this can also really help supplement lessons about compassion, dignity, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful and beautiful book that provides a simiplified version of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, to which this country presumably agreed to. It was published by Amnesty International and the artists donated their illustrations, so the profits go to Amnesty International. The book is similar to our bill of rights. I am taking classes for my TESOL certificate and will teach a citizenship class soon. The book would be nice to use. At least this country will still allow this book to be used, although those who think torture is acceptable by the U.S. Government will think the book is too "liberal." This book would be too incendiary to be used in most countries of the world, including some parts of the U.S. Everyone who thinks they are free should read this book and do some serious reflecting about what we allow our government to do in our name.
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This is a fantastic story to read with children. I used this for a few lesson plans with a 5th grade class. The messages are important and they lead to great class discussions about rights, responsibilities, rules etc. in the classroom, school, home, and beyond. I highly recommend this well written book! The mini edition is just right for a reading corner, but the big book is a must have for read alouds.
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Format: Hardcover
Every child has rights, especially the right to be "born free and equal." It wasn't always that way and until The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written and "proclaimed by the United Nations on 10 December 1948," many children suffered and perished in unspeakable ways. The world still has a long way to go, but the Declaration is held by many to be a universal truth and necessity. In this book the Universal Declaration for Human Rights is presented in words and pictures by many artists from around the world. This publication of this beautiful book coincides with its 60th anniversary.

"We are all born free and equal.
We all have our own thoughts and ideas.
We should all be treated in the same way,

These rights belong to everybody,
whatever our differences."

I loved the paraphrasing of the thirty articles by Amnesty International and the collective art work was simply amazing. The `round the world flavor was evident and I recognized the styles of many of the artists who contributed to this work. In the back of the book are the thirty articles and a yearbook presentation fo the artists, each with a miniature biography beneath their photograph. There are additional international Amnesty International addresses and web site addresses. This book should be in every home and classroom . . . without exception!
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This books is a must for every elementary school classroom. While the ideas, even when written for children, are complex, the illustrations are beautiful, and each whimsical illustration speaks volumes and will stick with both adult and child. My students loved the book, and I love that they're being introduced to the ideas within its pages: that each person has value and deserves to be treated in a certain way. It's a fantastic way to communicate to kids that not all people--many people in fact--don't have these rights that many of us take for granted.
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My 9 year old did enjoy reading this book with me. She had questions and there were some great discussion points. She was a little disturbed by some of the illustrations, but mostly the book was very good.
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I never knew we had rights as much as that
I am showing it to 8 to 10 yr olds
I think it's a good age to start explaining what the rights are and what they mean
it's something that could be made cheaper and made compulsory learning starting at very young ages to get tomorrow's generation understanding what it all means to them. Teach them about the UN what it means and how it affects children of today, adults of tomorrow.

This hardcover book was easily purchased from Amazon
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not big on books that preach but if you are going to buy your child, or indeed your household, a book worth preaching from, this is it. I'd say it is an essential item for every primary school teacher as you could make multitudes of lessons out of it. It is an abridged, illustrated version of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Buy it if you want your kids to read in words what it is to be a decent human being...with the bonus of famous illustrators being whacked into one book.
Amnesty International put this book together with the support of the illustrators and a blurb by both John Boyne [The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas] and David Tennant [Dr Who].

It's mind-blowing that these rights were made nearly seventy years ago and Amnesty International is still fighting to have so many of them recognised and carried out. Australia's government might want to take a good hard look at Articles 14 and 15 and Lessac's illustration of a crammed boat. Occasionally I invest in a picture book simply to remind me of the bigger picture: this is one of those books.
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