Come Together, Change the World: A Sesame Street Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice

Lerner. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781728429014; pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781728431437.
PreS-Gr 2–Elmo and friends introduce the concepts of fairness and racial justice to a very young audience. Elmo begins by highlighting the importance of diversity and presenting skin color as a quality that makes each person unique and special. Though race itself is not explicitly defined, a clunky transition to the concept defines racism as “being treated unfairly because of your race or where you are from.” No examples of unfair treatment are given. Listening to friends’ feelings and talking with a trusted adult are laid out as ways to address unfairness, with the ultimate goal of making the world a better place. These examples of concrete actions children can take to stand up for themselves and others create a strong foundation and make this a useful primer for community building, though the connection to racism and racial justice is disjointed. Photos of Sesame Street characters and a diverse cast of young children are overlaid onto backdrops of bright colors and shapes, making for an eye-catching, positive read, despite flaws.
VERDICT Purchase where needed, but don’t expect the Sesame Street crew to adequately address the complex topics here.

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