About the Holiday
Established in 2004, Celebrate Diversity Month encourages people to learn more about the world’s cultures and religions. Learning more about our global family and celebrating our differences and our similarities can lead to better relationships between people, more inclusion, and a happier future for the world’s children.
W is for Welcome: A Celebration of America’s Diversity
Written by Brad Herzog | Illustrated by nationally acclaimed artists
A journey around America impresses with its natural grandeur of rocky shores, majestic mountains, quilts of fertile fields, and wide-open prairies. More inspiring than these, however, is our diverse population that lends a wealth of knowledge, traditions, language, celebrations, food, music, and experiences to our country, making it a vibrant place to live and work.
Brad Herzog has collected twenty-six words to describe the United States and has used them to create lyrical verses and a full compendium of information about the immigrants and their experiences that have molded America from her earliest days and continue to do so today. Starting off, A is for America—that “dreamer’s destination,” and readers learn a bit about the millions of people who have come to our shores.
At C for Culture and D for Diversity, children learn about food, clothing, musical instruments, and even sports that have come to be favorites and were brought here or invented by people from other countries as well as “‘the most diverse square mile’” in America. Because of our country’s innovative spirit, “K is for Knowledge. “From all over the globe, / in a quest to know much more, / brilliant thinkers come here / and continue to explore.” Want to know more? Just check out Y for how immigrants continue to advance our knowledge.
When immigrants want to make the United States their new home, they learn about N, Naturalization, and O, the Oath they take. And P is for the Poem by Emma Lazarus that has “come to define America’s long tradition of welcoming immigrants”: “A ‘world-wide welcome’ states, / ‘Give me your tired, your poor.’ / And then it adds, ‘I lift my lamp / beside the golden door!’”
All those who have taken comfort from that poem make up the narrative of our land, which is why V is for Voices: “Each immigrant has a tale to tell / about how and why they came / to live in the United States. / No two stories are the same.”
Along the way from A to Z young readers learn more about the people, ideas, and places that define America in verses and fascinating information that expands on the history and future of the United States in letter-perfect fashion.
Brad Herzog has created a compelling look at immigration, its history, and all the ways America has benefited from her philosophy of welcome. His fascinating informative passages and inspiring verses enlighten readers about past and present contributions by immigrants and also educate children about the law and processes involved in adopting America as a new home.
Thirteen illustrators lend their talents to interpreting Herzog’s verses with images full of color and vitality that are as diverse as America itself. Beautiful scenery from around the country reminds readers of the beauty of this vast land. It is the happy, hopeful, and expressive faces of those who have come and continue to journey here looking for a better life that most inspire and reveal that we are all neighbors.
W is for Welcome is an excellent book to use for leading discussions about American history and immigration at home or in the classroom.
Ages 6 – 9
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018 | ISBN 978-1585364022
Discover more about Brad Herzog and his books on his website.
You can learn about these illustrators of W is for Welcome on their websites:
Doug Bowles | Maureen K. Brookfield | Pat Carroll | David C. Gardner | Barbara Gibson | Renée Graef | Susan Guy | Victor Juhasz | Laura Knorr | Michael Glenn Monroe | Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen | Ross B. Young
Celebrate Diversity Month Activity
A World of Friends! Word Search
There are people all over the world just waiting to be friends! Learn how to say “friend” in twenty-one languages with this printable word search.
Picture Book Review