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What a Wonderful World
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What a Wonderful World

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  240 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
What simpler way could there be to express to children the beauty and the harmony in the world around them than through the lyrics of this song by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, made famous by the great Louis Armstrong? And what better visual accompaniment than the bright colorful artwork by award-winning Ashley Bryan depicting children of many backgrounds (and Louis ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1994)
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Nov 01, 2016 Kay rated it it was ok
the lyrics to louis armstrongs what a wonderful world. beautiful pictures and the kids really seemed to like it! i played the song for them and they asked to listed to it again. so to me thats a success.
Sep 27, 2016 Laresa rated it really liked it
Very colorful
Leah Gerber
Dec 01, 2013 Leah Gerber rated it liked it
Shelves: t-l-307
In this book Ashley Bryan is only the illustrator. The illustrations are bright and colorful, displaying children of many backgrounds and ethnicities. The use of the illustrations really bring this book to life, give it a setting, and tell the story almost by the pictures. There is a puppet Louis Armstrong, which is fun and related for children, and then the real Louis Armstrong shows up to see the puppet show and inspires the young children putting on the show. This is an easy read for ...more
Maria K.
Feb 19, 2009 Maria K. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a special gift
Recommended to Maria K. by: Kate Ramos
Another one of my favorite children's books for it's simply wonderful message and bright, fun illustrations. It was given to my oldest child by his Godmother on his baptismal day. What makes it most special is the inscription she wrote inside:
"Dear Ian,
What a wonderful world! Today you are surrounded by family and friends, people who love you. Wherever you go, wherever you'll be, there will always be someone who cares for thinking of you. We'll watch you grow and live your life. We'll b
Oct 15, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
Genre: Picture Book
Audience: K-4
Theme: Appreciation of the world in which we live
Curricular Uses: Read-Aloud, Independent Reading, Shared Reading
Reading Level: Early Readers
Literary Elements: Rhyme, Alliteration, Repetition of the phrase "what a wonderful world"
Illustrations: Bright, colorful, illustrations reinforce the text and bring to life the theme of appreciation of the world.
Issues: Accepting differences
Additional Comments: I used this book for my multi modal. Added the song "What a
Amy B.
Jul 24, 2008 Amy B. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children of all ages
Weiss, G. (1967). What a wonderful world. New York, NY. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

The familiar tune will sure strike a memory with anyone who is a fan of Louis Armstrong’s famous lyrics. It the book the illustrations are sure to catch the eye and get children talking about the world in which we live. The award winning illustrator, Bryan, also captures images of Louis and his venture around a world so diverse and wonderful. Children are sure to see themselves represented in the world in th
Dianne J.
Jul 17, 2011 Dianne J. rated it liked it
Age of readership: Ages 4-8

Genre: Picture Book

Diversity: Multicultural

Illustrations: Colorful drawings

My response to the book: The author pays tribute to Louis Armstrong by illustrating the words from one of his popular songs with children from around the world setting up a puppet show to express how the variety of people, animals and landscapes makes this a wonderful world.

Curricular/Programming connections: Use this book as part of a unit on cultural diversity.

Ashley Bryan could have just literally illustrated the words to the song that Louis Armstrong made famous and we would have had a good book. Instead, she added meaning by giving the song a setting. In the front pages we see a group of multicultural children preparing for a puppet show. The "trees of green" and "red roses too" are among their props, but they also have a puppet Louis Armstrong. Then the real Louis Armstrong shows up to see the puppet show and inspires the young puppeteers. Bright ...more
Demi Sienna
Oct 15, 2014 Demi Sienna rated it really liked it
This story brings up a positive message through music. It is through the music of Louis Armstrong. The message is that we live in a wonderful world even though we may look different. I think the book is age-appropriate, especially for the fact that young children love to sing, so they will definitely take interest in a story like this. I chose this book for my topic because it portrays African-American music, family, and history because of the famous music of Louis Armstrong.
Jan 27, 2012 Antonio rated it it was amazing
This brilliant book is based off of the song made famous by the legendary jazz singer Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World.” The book is an excellent way to demonstrate to students the beauty of all races, religions, and cultures. In addition, “What a Wonderful World,” can be used to introduce the Jazz Age to students.
Gusson Abdallah
Jan 22, 2012 Gusson Abdallah rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful children's book. It teaches children how to appreciate all their surroundings. As well as appreciating their surroundings, it hints to kids how wonderful it is to observe the world around them. The illustrations are great, and I would definitely recommend the book in a young children's class.
Kyle Greenberg
I loved the book "What a Wonderful World". This book would be a great book to read-aloud to students of all different ages. Not only does it go along with the song, but it multicultural diverse through both the words and the illustrations. Students can learn a lot through the book and relate it to real life and historical fiction as well.
Rebecca Mullins
This is another great book on diversity. It incorporates the lyrics from the song "What a Wonderful World". It is about people of all races coming together and creating a wonderful world of peace. This is a good book for grades 1-3. It's a great way to start off a lesson about culture or diversity.
Jan 15, 2011 Cherese rated it it was amazing
Beautiful colorful illustrations that are suitable for programs on unity, diversity, friendship and love. I don't read the book when I use it in storytime. I use the song on "Jazz for Kids" #11.
Parents and teachers have been moved when I have used this book during my storytimes.
I think that this book is a good teacher of acceptance regardless of ethnicity or culture, this book also teaches colors. There are some science aspects within the story, when there is a mention of night compared to day. There is repetition within the story as well as rhyming words. The book is also told in 1st person, which I believe to be another teaching point.
Sep 09, 2014 Dania rated it it was amazing
This is my absolute favorite book. I am now 23 but I can still hear my grandmother singing this song to me as we flipped the pages of this book. Parents, if you want a book that will encourage your children to see the beauty in everyone and everything, each and every day, please purchase this book. Be blessed and I hope you enjoy this.
Mhm Storytelling
May 26, 2011 Mhm Storytelling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytelling
This book illustrates the lyrics of the song "What a wonderful world." I think this could work well with a music theme. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the world. The pictures are vividly colored and the text is simple. This book could become a sing along when combined with the song.
Gabriela Straw
A story book put to song. A message of peace, and unity for children to understand and see the everyone needs to work together to create a happy peaceful and safe environment. You can chose to see the glass half empty or chose to see it half full, it's all about your perspective. It's a great way to present culture, and unity to children.
May 25, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
I loved so much about this book -- the beautiful calligraphy; the vibrant, rich colors; the textures -- except for the creepy puppet people.

And, OF COURSE, I sang it. I would so buy this book if it weren't for the creepy puppet people.
Jul 12, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it
The lyrics to the well-known song serve as the text to go with the beautiful illustrations by Ashley Bryan. His artwork always makes a book light up, and the words to the song are likewise compelling.
Apr 01, 2016 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations featuring children from multiple ethnic groups illustrate the lyrics from George David Weiss and Bob Thiele's song. The bright colors of the pictures draw children into the book.
Apr 22, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it
What a Wonderful World (Hardcover)
by George David Weiss
Reading this book to kindergarten first and second grade. Kindergarten was mesmerized by the book, and the song. The kids thought it was too fast to read the story as a song.
Oct 04, 2011 Cassie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-class
I love the bright pictures! It brings to life the story o a timeless song. This could open many many conversations and lessons for kids! Lessons about diversity use of poem... Jazz music history.........
This book is super rad!

The end
Jennifer Bryant
This is a fun, happy book. Students will explore great, colorful pictures. This book is a very inspirational; it lets you see the bright side of the world. The book is also very multicultural involving people from all over the world in the illustrations.
Apr 04, 2011 Loree rated it really liked it
I remember dancing to this song with my grandfather... This joyfully illustrated book is a delightful way to introduce children to this song of yesteryear. Nice tribute... ever so glad that Louie Armstrong made this song popular so that my grandfather and I could dance to it.
Jeannie Parker
Nov 29, 2010 Jeannie Parker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-studies
I love this book and song! Louis Armstrong is an amazing songwriter and musician. This book can be used to introduce Louis Armstrong and even when teaching about the Harlem Renaissance.
Rebecca Dean
This book is great to read to the students and then discuss the world and how amazing it is. The illustrations are great and a good way to demonstrate the many cultures we have in this world.
Reaella Diego
May 15, 2015 Reaella Diego rated it it was amazing
I really like this book, especially when my mom reads it to my sister. I always cut in and sing it too. I really like the illustration here better, more colorful than the other similar book.
Jonathan Farman
Jan 26, 2012 Jonathan Farman rated it it was amazing
This is a must have book for any child. Beautiful illustrations picturing a multi-cultural world in peace.
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