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Chocolate Milk, Por Favor: Celebrating Diversity with Empathy Paperback – April 1, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
Although children don’t truly comprehend what is happening they certainly recognize the angry tenor of the discussions. Many kids worry about how these events will affect them, their families, communities and our country. These books address the experience of immigration and do a wonderful job of fostering empathy and recognizing the courage required to begin a new life whether in a foreign country or in a new family.
Chocolate Milk, Por Favor written by Maria Dismondy and charmingly illustrated by Donna Farrell, presents the story primarily from Johnny’s point of view. He fears being displaced as his class “makes room” a new student; Readers also see Gabe’s perspective as the new student. Johnny acts out his fears through hostility but his classmates follow their teacher’s suggestion and help him learn how to fit in. While Gabe and Johnny do not speak the same language, they do share a love of soccer. Sport succeeds in breaking down barriers and mistrust.
I like how this book depicts many different reactions to the immigrant student’s arrival. This feels more believable. It also shows how Gabe and his classmates strive to communicate even though they don’t speak one another’s language. What they have in common–as kids, students and soccer players–outweighs the differences that divide them.
The book is based on the experiences of one of Maria Dismony’s students. This is a wonderful story because it portrays the situation from both sides. Children can easily discern the message of friendship and community at the core of the story: “to have a friend is first to be a friend.” It includes discussion questions to explore before and after reading the book as well as tips for English language learners. Chocolate Milk, Por Favor is a gem, especially when paired with the next story.
#AAQ Lens: For adopted children this book can easily tap into feeling alien as they enter their new world (their new family.) In some families they literally do not speak the same language. In other’s, their lack of shared experience and mutual history divides them. The challenge of learning to understand and trust one another rings true.--Gayle H. Swift, "ABC, Adoption & Me: A Multicultural Picture Book"