A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan, illustrated by Lian Cho

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan, illustrated by Lian Cho. Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins, 2021. 9780062877727

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? A heart-warming, spirited, welcoming, and inclusive book about friendship and community, this book whirls the reader around the world visiting various families within countries as they are gathering together. Characters are simply drawn and the illustrations are warm and colorful with a well-worked rhyming, encouraging, and inviting text. Each spread pulls us into another community where eating rituals are highlighted. An enormous fold out double spread of everyone sharing a meal is in the middle. The message seems simple and the rhyming text light with bright and happy illustrations but the underlying theme is one of a necessity of understanding of each other and our cultures. Artist and author notes are a must read at the end.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I was skeptical at first as I am old and jaded but this lovely and loving volume won me over.

To whom would you recommend this book? Schools looking at inclusiveness, geography, language and friends themes should see this book as well as those who are looking for a fun, rhyming story. 

 Who should buy this book? I would want all ages to take a peek at this book and school libraries and public libraries to own it. 

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Pam WattsFlavin, Head of Children’s Services, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: October 31, 2021

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