With a very simple text accompanied by rich, vibrant illustrations a young narrator describes what it means to be a child with rights from the right to food, water and shelter, to the right to go to school, to the right to be free from violence, to the right to breathe clean air, and much more. The book emphasizes that these rights belong to every child on the planet, whether they are “black or white, small or big, rich or poor, born here or somewhere else.” It also makes evident that knowing and talking about these rights are the first steps toward making sure that they are respected.
A brief afterword explains that the rights outlined in the book come from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. The treaty sets out the basic human rights that belong to children all over the world, recognizing that children need special protection since they are more vulnerable than adults. It has been ratified by 193 countries, with the exception of Somalia and the United States. Once a country has ratified the document, they are legally bound to comply with it and to report on their efforts to do so. As a result, some progress has been made, not only in awareness of children’s rights, but also in their implementation. But there are still many countries, wealthy and poor, where children’s basic needs are not being met.
To read a summary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, go to www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf.
About the Author
Alain Serres was a kindergarten teacher who was inspired by his young students to write children’s books. He has since published more than one hundred titles for children of all ages, many of which have been translated into other languages. In 1996 Serres founded the highly regarded French publishing house Rue du Monde, whose mission is to provide children with books that allow them to question and imagine the world. He lives in Paris.
Aure´lia Fronty studied textile design at l’E´cole Duperre´ in Paris and worked in fashion before she began to illustrate children’s books. Her colorful, nai¨ve-style art is inspired by her Catalan roots as well as her travels in Africa, Asia and South America. She has illustrated more than forty titles, which have been published around the world. She has also exhibited her art in France and in the United Kingdom. She lives in Montreuil, France.
Read an Excerpt
I am a child with eyes, hands, a voice, a heart and rights.
I have the right to a first name, a last name, a family that smiles at me, and a country that is my home.
I have the right to have enough food to eat and water to drink so that I can grow. My favorite thing is an orange. You can eat it or drink its juice!
I have the right to live under a roof, to be warm but not too hot, not to be poor and to have just enough of what I need, not more.
I have the right to be cured with the best medicines that were ever invented.
And to run and jump and climb and shout:
“It’s so wonderful to feel good!”