Visually stunning this picture book is a poem, a song, a rallying cry of hope and belief. Vibrant and uplifting it is full of joy and optimism, this would be a wonderful addition to school and library bookshelves and a beautiful picture book to share at home.
I wonder, then, what freedom is. Is it a place? Is it a thought? Can it be stolen? Can it be bought?
This is both beautiful and powerful. Freedom, We Sing is a lyrical picture book designed to inspire and give hope to readers around the world. A mother and child share a conversation about the earth, its inhabitants and what freedom means to each and everyone of us. They talk about life, love and family in this poetic and diverse look at humanity. The stunning, vibrant illustrations by Molly Mendoza are eye catching and inviting, as soon as you see the cover you are tempted to discover more. The lyrical and emotive text begs to be read aloud. That Amyra León who wrote this book is a musician is not a surprise as the text flows and soars and the repeated refrain, “Inhale, exhale” is both calming and uplifting. A book that confirms and celebrates everyone’s right to be free; the joyous fold out double page spread towards the end of the book invites the reader to join in with the celebration. I can see this being a fabulous book to use in school assemblies or as part of a classroom session on human rights. The text invites the reader to answer questions about the meaning of freedom and to observe the differences and more importantly the similarities in people of different races, beliefs and circumstances. It builds to a joyous climax of hope that leaves the reader feeling part of something special.
A book to empower and start conversations, Freedom We Sing has been endorsed by Amnesty International for reminding us that we are all born equal.
There is a fascinating, thoughtful interview with Amyra León and Molly Mendoza on the We Need Diverse Books website which provides an insight into the creative process and the importance of books to engage and empower children and nurture their curiosity.
Thank you to Flying Eye Books for providing my copy. Freedom, We Sing was published on 1st July and is available to buy at all good bookshops, you can search for your nearest independent bookshop here or purchase the book online here.
If this book appeals you may also enjoy Child of Galaxies by Blake Nuto and Charlotte Ager another lovely picture book that explores our place in the world and how we are connected to each other. Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers is a thoughtful guide to our world and is an inclusive and thoughtful picturebook.