Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Big Circles Make Our World a Better Place
Build a Bigger Circle for Friends and Family
Brad Montague's The Circles All Around Us is a timely themed picture book and story to teach young readers the lesson of community building. Everyone has the chance to make the world a better place when they make room for better relationships with family and friends.
A little boy starts with a pencil to draw a circle on the sidewalk. He starts with a very small circle that is only big enough for him. His small circle is a safe place for just him, but something is wrong. It doesn't seem right to just be lonely in your own little circle. He draws a bigger circle to include his family. Cousins, grandma and even great-grandma can now fit in his circle. The circle becomes happier with all of these family members. How about making the circle larger to now include friends? Do our differences really matter? Including people with differences can be hard, but great things can happen when we learn about all of the differences and include everyone. The world becomes a better place with large circles.
Brad and Kristi Montague contributed their talents as illustrators to The Circles All Around Us with simple and charming portrayals of all of the people that the little boy places in his circle. The text is easy to read with short sentences.
The Circles All Round Us was published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended for ages 4-8 and has an ISBN of 978-0-593-32318-2.
Draw a Big Circle for Building a Better World
Enrichment Activities for Building Bigger Circles
Teachers and parents will want to add Brad Montague's The Circles All Around Us to teach young children the concepts of friendships and family relationships. Young children are inherently self-centered and learning the concept of relationships at an early age can be challenging. Picture books such as this one is a simple beginning for learning the concept that relationships make for a happier world.
*Read The Circles All Around Us in a story time session. Call attention to the small circle that the little boy draws. How many peole can fit in his little circle?
*Engage the children in building a circle by having them reenact the story. Provide a poster board just big enough to draw one circle on the poster board. Invite each child to sit inside the circle alone. How does being alone feel?
*Provide a larger piece of paper for children to draw bigger circles as the story goes along. Invite children to sit inside the larger circles as the story progresses. Invite them to choose friends to join the circle as the story progresses.
*Provide drawing paper, crayons, and markers for children to draw a circle to place their family members in. Encourage the children to include all of their family members in the circle. Pets can also be included in the circle.
*Call attention to the illustrations that depict a playground and all of the children on the playground. Call attention to the illustration that depicts a child sitting alone or playing alone on the playground. Engage the children in a discussion about including everyone in their circle to play together on the playground.
*Call attention to the illustrations that depict a variety of community members who can be included in the circle of relationships. Neighbors, the mailman, the librarian, and the soccer coach can all be placed in our circle of relationships.
*Call attention to the illustration that depicts people who might be different. People who are disabled, shy, or wear different clothes can all be placed in our circle to make the world a better place.
*Engage children in a discussion of ways that they can make their relationship circles larger.
© 2021 Cindy Hewitt