“WE’RE ALL WONDERS” written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio
“I know I can’t change the way I look. BUT maybe, just maybe, people can change the way they see…”
This is a brilliant picture book about Auggie (August Pullman), the facially disfigured main character of R.J. Palacio’s award winning and unforgettable novel of ‘Wonder.’ The book ‘Wonder’ really is an unforgettable read, and I am sure it has inspired acceptance and kindness in many readers.
‘We’re All Wonders’ is a fabulous picture book that should be placed in every Primary School book corner or library. This picture book will certainly teach children empathy and would be great to use during PSHE lessons and circle time discussions. In the novel, ‘Wonder’ we are told the story about Auggie, who is different, and struggles to fit in. In the picture book, ‘We’re All Wonders’ the beloved character Auggie features and most certainly will encourage children to accept and understand that they are all different in their own way. Younger readers can discover the ‘Wonder’ message by following Auggie and his dog Daisy on an adventure. ‘We’re All Wonders’ shows readers what it is like to live in Auggie’s world – a world in which he feels like he is any other ordinary kid doing ordinary things like playing with his dog, riding a bike, eating an ice-cream and playing ball, but he is not always seen that way because of the way he looks by the rest of the world.
This book really is the perfect way to talk about empathy, kindness and being different and the fact that everyone is unique. This is a great book to share with a new class at the start of the new school year and really highlights how damaging and upsetting unkind words can be to any child and the hurt that one can feel when you don’t feel like you belong. This book is full with rich and bold images as well as powerful text. ‘We’re All Wonders’ certainly will tap into every child’s longing to belong. And in the words of the author ‘R.J. Palacio’ – ‘The Earth is big enough for all kinds of people … Look with kindness and you will always find wonder.’
A great picture book and a must for any book corner or school library!
Possible activities after reading and sharing the book with your class:
- Writing activity – What makes you different and unique? What makes you a WONDER?
- Lots of circle time discussions – What does it feel like to be different focusing on physical differences? Discuss the key messages in the book. Define ordinary. In what way is the boy in the story ordinary?
- Who is Auggie’s best friend? How can you be a good friend to others? Are you a good friend to others?
- Discuss the meaning of ‘wonder.’ Why does Auggie’s mother call him a wonder? What is the first clue in the book that other people do not see Auggie the way his mother sees him. Study the illustration that shows how others see and perceive Auggie. Which kids are laughing at him? Which kids are scared? Which kids are frowning at him or looking confused? Which are astonished? How are their facial expressions different and how are they rude and unkind? Which illustration in the book really shows how poor Auggie is feeling when people are rude to him and point and laugh?
- Describe the friends he meets on Pluto? What are they like? How do they react to Auggie? How does Augie show kindness to them?
- Play ‘Pass the compliment’ – a circle time game. Each child has to say something nice about the person sitting next to them. Write on a piece of paper why someone in their class is a wonder. e.g. ………is a wonder because………
- If Auggie and Daisy could have one wish – what do you think it would be?
- Who is the boy that offers Auggie the ball at the end of the story? Look at the pictures of Auggie’s classmates and can the children identify the boy. He is in fact Tadeo. Role play Tadeo and Auggie playing. What do you think Tadeo says to Auggie as he passes him the ball? What do you think Auggie says back?
- Kindness Jar idea – https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/penguin-schools/wonder-choose-kind-classroom-challenge/
Challenge your class to become a ‘certified kind classroom’ or do it as a school. Who can be the first class to spread kindness and fill their jar up? Challenge pupils to do kind deeds in order to fill the jar with marbles – I kind deed = 1 marble. See website link above.
- Write diary extracts as if you are Auggie – what might he write in his diary during different parts of the book/story?
Written by Bree House