Thursday, March 24, 2022

We Belong. A Review

Hello Poets,

T'was Friday before April and poets in our land were writing poems on computers, cell phones and on paper by hand. Oooof. Pardon the rhyme crimes.

Do you know what you are doing for Poetry Month? Whatever it is, I can't wait to see and celebrate with you. If you don't have a specific plan yet, I highly recommend bouncing from blog to blog and finding inspiration from other poets. That's what I did last year in April and, I loved it!

Thank you, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, for hosting Poetry Friday this week at The Poem Farm. It's a favorite poem-stop for me. I hope you are enjoying the celebration of If This Bird Had Pockets.

What new book begins with the word, WELCOME! and includes perhaps the most diverse illustrations of children in any picture book I've read in a long, long time and ends with the words, YOU ARE ENOUGH? I'll tell you. 

It's We Belong by Laura Purdie Salas.

We Belong by Laura Purdie Salas. Carolhoda Books. March 2022

I so enjoy how the poetry of We Belong opens with very simple, concrete examples of differences between people: quiet and loud, tall and short and grows into more and more abstract differences that children, and we all, experience in our everyday lives. 

"each feeling a gift"

Is your skin as light as River Birch? Hazlenut? Chestnut, Cherry? Jack Pine, Mahogany, Oak, or Mulberry? Isn't this the most delightful way to address race? I love it.

And, be still my heart, there's even a line that includes star! 

"Let your own heart be your guiding North Star." Thank you for that special line. Suddenly, I feel an urge for writing a golden shovel with such a gem of a striking line in We Belong.

We Belong by Laura Purdie Salas. Carolhoda Books. March 2022

The best part of We Belong is the message, 'You are enough...we all belong.' 

Carlos Velez Aguilera's illustrations make the words of this book sing. Jewel tone pages include every kind of child under the sun from able-bodied to physically challenged, sick, well, happy, sad, alone or with friends, boy, girl or, more choices--hooray! So many children will be able to find themselves in the words and illustrations of We Belong. I am taking this book to my school library for read-alouds immediately! 

Thank you for such a joy of a book for us to read to all of our kids, Laura. And, congrats on continuing to write great kids' books. We are lucky to be able to read more and more books from you.

A couple of weeks ago, we drove my youngest to the train station to head back to college after spring break. Youngest rode in the front seat and I sat in the back looking out the window and giggled when I saw this sign. But that giggle turned into a poem! See it on the padlet: 

I'm off to leave positive reviews of We Belong in my favorite places. I hope you will too.


  1. Oh, this book. This message. These children. We all need it, every age and stage. Thank you for featuring Laura's gentle wisdom today, Linda, and for your endless-generosity to authors and sharers. As for a star car, yes please! I adore "for weekends in the Pleiades" and will happily leave my Toyota Sienna with 220,000k miles behind for a ride with you! Happy Poetry Friday! xo

  2. I think this is the most loving review a book of mine has ever received, Linda--thank you so much for your enthusiasm and sharing! And love your star car poem. Wouldn't a weekend getaway to The Pleiades be fun? And I hope you DO write a golden shovel. Can't wait to read it!

  3. Aww... I want a STAR CAR too! Very fun poem! Thank you, Linda!

  4. Thanks for this feel good post. Loved hearing about We Belong -- so life affirming! I also love how you are a star maniac. :) Thought of you when I posted Bobbie Nelson's "Stardust" at Alphabet Soup. :)

  5. What a delightful review of Laura's new book - love its message and color and heart. And your "Star Cars" poem - HA! Brilliant. Shiny. Clever. And so much FUN - Thank you! xo

  6. Wonderful review, Linda. I shared it recently, too. I envy you being able to share with a group of children. It is a special book, just right for today! And love your "Star cars" sign & poem. Maybe someday far in the future, people will have traveling star cars? Thanks for all!

  7. Oh, I can't wait to get my copy of WE BELONG in my library! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it!

  8. Thank you for this review of WE BELONG--I can tell I'd like it! I'll have to check & see if our library has it; if not, I'll request an addition to the collection!

  9. Now that I'll be working alongside kids again, I'm thinking I need to own this one!

  10. Thank you for the glimpse at Laura's new book - it sounds perfect! I'm adding it to my wish list. maybe I'll wish upon one of your stars! I'm also going to wish for star car :)

  11. So nice of you to make me feel welcomed back to your blog with a ditty in the first two lines of your post, Linda. ;) And a chartreuse star car with an asteroid belt for safety? Sign me up! As for your book review, I appreciate that you always write from the heart. Yay Laura for continuing to offer up such inclusive and heartwarming books!

  12. I can't wait to have this one, and Linda, you are always so precise and generous in your reviews it's as though you were a librarian or something! ;)

  13. Thank you for your review of this book which is so timely for the world we're living in.

    Your Star Car poem is a delight - I love the asteroid belts! A fun poem that made me smile - thanks for sharing it!

  14. Linda, beautiful review of We Belong. I really like the description you gave as the review began from beginning with WELCOME, to all the tree-colored children illustrations, and ending with YOU ARE ENOUGH. Those lines really made me want to read it. Cute Star Cars sign and poem you created from it.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!