We want to say thank you to Lindsy Parker Media for reaching out to us to complete a book review on a new book for children, and share our thoughts with our readers. It’s called “I See the Sun in the USA.” It’s a great educational book on diversity and cultural differences, in my opinion.
When we received the book, Reagan and I sat down together to review it. The first thing she commented on was how much she liked the cover of the book. So, I guess you can say the cover invites young readers, which is a good start to get them interested in reading in general. The cover has pictures that draw you in immediately. It brings the urban, rural and city aspects together, and it also showcased different ethnicities to show everyone can really be friends.
The story is told from the view point of a young girl, Stella, as her family vacations. She explains how she learns about different households, traditions and cultures as they venture on their travels. Her family genetics are from India and the United States. The young girl’s neighbors and best friend are from China. Right off the bat, the author shows a mixed-race family, which is so important to understand, especially in today’s world. She also highlights diverse cultures and how friendships (and families) can grow within them, as we all appreciate everyone’s uniqueness.
Throughout the story, they showed various family trees that outlined the history of where relatives came from, and how the families were created. As a teacher, I liked this concept, as it shows a visual of how families can begin and how they connect, instead of just words. I also liked how the author, Dedie King, brought in a history lesson on Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota and the areas around it.
Stella tells about their trip to Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota and how amazed she was to see the President’s faces that were carved into the mountains. She told the history of how the carvings were created. She was very excited to meet new friends on her trip. Once she did, she went into quite a bit of detail on what her new friends’ days were like and where the families came from.
We felt that Ms. King did a great job of showing all parts of our world. She referenced different countries, states, jobs and lifestyles. She showed children that it is okay to be different and what you can learn from someone else. The illustrator, Judith Inglese, did a fabulous job incorporating real life photos in with drawn illustrations. We thought that was a good technique to keep readers engaged.
As an educator, I feel that this book is perfect to share with students, even as young as kindergarten. It teaches that diversity is good, and that you can be friends with anyone. It doesn’t matter the color of their skin, their religion, their age, etc. Friends are everywhere if you look closely enough. It provides a small history lesson and it also explains how families can develop, that aren’t the “same” in looks, or where they came from.
This would be a wonderful book for anyone to purchase and read with their children. In today’s diverse world, acceptance is SO, SO important. Children start learning as soon as they are born. Having an open mind, can change the world!!