Favourite books: We Are All Born Free

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By Laurence Anholtauthor, illustrator and former teacher (www.anholt.co.uk)

Laurence Anholt celebrates 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with these inspirational yet accessible ideas

We are all born free

We Are All Born Free (Francis Lincoln, ISBN 9781845076504) could be my favourite picture book of the last five years. This is a BIG book about a BIG subject, which is accessible to very young children. (I can even think of a few grown-ups that could use it too!)

To celebrate 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, some bright spark at Amnesty International came up with the idea of inviting 30 international artists to illustrate the 30 Articles for children. The result is a feisty, provocative and joyous celebration of freedom, peace and justice.

If I could lay down the law for a minute, I would say this book should be obligatory in every young library.


Each page of the book carries a simplified version of one of the Articles. For example, Article 1 announces: ‘We are all born free and equal. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way’. Whether you are five or 50 (like me), those are the truest words you will ever hear.

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