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If Kids Ran the World

Overview


Two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon show children playfully creating a more generous, peaceful world where everyone shares with others.

All roads lead to kindness in this powerful final collaboration between Leo and Diane Dillon. In a colorful tree house, a rainbow of children determine the most important needs in our complex world, and following spreads present boys and girls happily helping others. Kids bring abundant food to the hungry; medicine and cheer to ...

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Overview


Two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon show children playfully creating a more generous, peaceful world where everyone shares with others.

All roads lead to kindness in this powerful final collaboration between Leo and Diane Dillon. In a colorful tree house, a rainbow of children determine the most important needs in our complex world, and following spreads present boys and girls happily helping others. Kids bring abundant food to the hungry; medicine and cheer to the sick; safe housing, education, and religious tolerance to all; and our planet is treated with care. Forgiveness and generosity are seen as essential, because kids know how to share, and they understand the power of love.

The book closes with examples of fun ways to help others--along with FDR's "Four Freedoms" and "The Second Bill of Rights," which illuminate these concepts.

A tribute to peace and a celebration of diverse cultures, this last collaboration by the Dillons captures the wondrous joy of all people, and the unique beauty within each one of us shines forth. If kids ran the world, it would be a better place--for grown-ups, too.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/26/2014
“If kids ran the world,” this warmhearted manifesto begins, “we would make it a kinder, better place.” Seen against a bright white backdrop, a troupe of children in a rainbow of colors swarms through a flower garden, trimming, watering, and digging. “We’d take care of the most important things,” the children say. “We know people are hungry, so all over the world, everyone would have enough to eat.” They bring barrows and baskets full of delicious food to a banquet table. “Everyone would have a safe place to live.... Friendship, kindness and generosity would be worth more than money.” The Dillons, in their final collaboration (Leo died in 2012), make the creation of this ideal world seem like play; there’s no sanctimony, nor any sense of weary obligation. The spreads balance the lively activity of a parade with the rhythm and poise of classic tapestry. With these images of joyousness and boundless energy, the Dillons affirm and call forth the special gifts children have to give. Two brief afterwords discuss opportunities for kids to get involved and the inspiration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. All ages. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Leo & Diane Dillon:
Their work has received two Caldecott Medals, four NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Awards, four BOSTON GLOBE--HORN BOOK Awards, multiple Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. They were inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997.

ASHANTI TO ZULU: AFRICAN TRADITIONS
A Caldecott Medal Winner
A NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year

AIDA retold by Leontyne Price
A Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner
An ALA Notable Children's Book

MANY THOUSAND GONE: AFRICAN AMERICANS FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM
An Orbis Pictus Award Winner
A Jefferson Cup Award Winner

THE PEOPLE COULD FLY
A Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner
A NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year
A Parents' Choice Award Winner

RAP A TAP TAP: HERE'S BOJANGLES THINK OF THAT!
A Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner
A Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
A Parents' Choice Award Winner

School Library Journal
07/01/2014
K-Gr 2—In this idealistic vision of our world as run by children, the Dillons imagine a utopia free of hunger, inequality, and poverty: "everyone would have enough to eat…Everyone would have a safe place to live," etc. Multicultural arrays of children clad in whimsical clothing fixedly grin from every page as they care for the environment and spread generosity, peace, and love. To be sure, the aspirations espoused by the voice of these "kids" are admirable and inspiring, and the title could be used to initiate classroom discussions about improving society. However, the tone of the narrative is somewhat didactic, and sentiments such as "No bullying would be allowed" and "Kids would love school" reveal a wistful adult rather than an enthusiastic child. Books like Peter Brown's The Curious Garden (Little, Brown, 2009) or Liz Garton Scanlon's All the World (S. &. S, 2009) express similar themes of world unity and children effecting change in a more subtle way.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-04
Leo Dillon’s last book with Diane Dillon imagines what the world would be like if children were in charge.The Dillons envision a world of peace, fairness and kindness, where everyone’s basic needs would be met. No one would be hungry, and everyone would have a place to live. Sick people would have medicine, and good schools would be universal. Unsurprisingly, this world is populated with smiling, happy children of many skin tones, wearing clothing from all corners of the world and representing a variety of religions. The figures on each spread are painted against a bright white background, making the children pop off the page in contrast. An unvarying optimism oozes from each word and illustration, creating a strange world of sameness that may remind some of 1970s-era educational tracts. Paintings of many children in traditional costumes add to that generic, “It’s a Small World” feeling. The educational tone extends into a three-page sermon about children’s volunteerism and a discussion of Franklin Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights.” Children might enjoy the pictures, but even they will be stretched to imagine a world where “No bullying would be allowed”; how many schools extend this promise without delivering? With so little to pin this book to the world actual children are living in, it feels like a gesture rather than a call to action.Well-meaning but saccharine and didactic. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545441964
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 138,050
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Leo and Diane Dillon began working together in the 1950s. Diversity and equality are regular themes in their work, which ranges from African folktales to fantasy and science fiction. Their long list of awards includes two Caldecott Medals, four NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Awards, four BOSTON GLOBE--HORN BOOK Awards, multiple Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. They were inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997. Leo Dillon died in May 2012.
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