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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Hero Learns About Diversity is a children’s story written by Anita Polly and illustrated by Julie Ibarra. Hero is surrounded by people with different tastes, preferences, features, and backgrounds in his community. One morning, on the way to school, Hero confuses a man’s home country with a popular food. Embarrassed by his mistake, Hero vows to pay better attention to others around him so he doesn’t make similar blunders. After a colorful art project at school, Hero notices that his friends are dissimilar in the foods they like and their favorite activities. He concludes that his diversity mission will be ongoing as he will meet people with differences throughout his life and will always seek knowledge to interact with them appropriately.
Anita Polly has written a lovely tale that will delight children with its rhyming structure and vibrant pictures. The most powerful text is written in a rainbow of colors, symbolizing the differences between Hero and his classmates. In addition, Anita provides a list of questions at the end that invites children to explore what they know about other countries and cultures. The exercise offers a perfect way to extend the discussion and stereotypes by helping children think about their answers and why they selected a particular county. Hero Learns About Diversity is an excellent story for young children who have noticed the differences between themselves and others. Although it is geared toward younger children, older children will enjoy it and the questions at the end of the book.