El cielo es de todos

tr. from Italian by Lorenzo Fasanini. illus. by Nicoletta Costa. 32p. Picarona. Jan. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9788416117567.
PreS-Gr 2—This book begins with a philosophical question: How is it that the whole sky belongs to everyone? Readers encounter scenes with a wide range of characters—from kings to farmers, poets to street cleaners, scared rabbits to lions—who all can enjoy the sky. Rodari shares that each of us has the whole sky and even if you are the last person to look at it, you won't find it any less beautiful. After establishing that the sky does belong to all, the last page asks why then we have the earth divided into little pieces, with an image of the planet with many flags across it. Although many of the flags represent real nations, some of them are imagined. The brevity of the text and the musicality of the translation lend themselves to a read-aloud context. The cartoon-style illustrations are vibrant and interpret the text well enough to support beginning readers in tackling the text on their own. The somewhat abrupt jump from the abstract poetry of the beginning to a consideration of geopolitics may be a bit of a leap but in the right hands could help foster an age-appropriate conversation about cross-cultural similarities and national boundaries.
VERDICT An additional purchase for Spanish-language collections and a useful pick for classroom discussions.

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