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An ABC of Equality (Volume 1)

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A is for Ability, B is for Belief, C is for Class. All people have the right to be treated fairly, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. An ABC of Equality introduces complicated concepts surrounding social justice to the youngest of children.

From A to Z, simple explanations accompanied by engaging artwork teach children about the world we live in and how to navigate our way through it. Each right-hand page includes a brightly decorated letter with the word it stands for and an encouraging slogan. On the left, a colorful illustration and bite-size text sum up the concept. Cheerful people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, and abilities lead the way through the alphabet.
L is for LGBTQIA. Find the words that make you, you.
N is for No. No means no.
P is for Privilege. Be aware of your advantages.
X is for Xenophobia. Ask questions and you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Celebrate your Differences, ask more Questions, share your Kindness, and learn to Understand the world.

52 pages, Board Book

First published January 1, 2019

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5 stars
122 (38%)
4 stars
92 (29%)
3 stars
62 (19%)
2 stars
17 (5%)
1 star
22 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 120 reviews
Profile Image for Karina.
818 reviews
March 3, 2020
The extra 1/2 star is for the bright pretty pictures. I picked this up at the library because of the title and it's also supposed to be a toddler BOARD book. Reading through the alphabet I was confused. The target audience should be toddlers. A toddler would not be able to understand these long drawn out definitions. I felt it was geared toward 10+ or adults.

I wouldn't read this book to my littles. It is waaay over their heads.

L= LGBTQIA-- "It's okay to to be whoever you want." Does this not imply that you aren't born this way? You get to choose whenever you want? I'll ask my brother if he just chose to be gay....

It was not a satisfying understanding of the message it was trying to convey.
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,244 reviews3,563 followers
August 20, 2019
Sometimes the best intentions can go horribly awry. That's the case here, with An ABC of Equality. Intended for "the youngest of children", this is a confusing book that offers muddled definitions and paints an unrealistic vision of the world.

Starting early on, the book makes many demonstrably false statements such as:

People who identify as women have the same rights as people who identify as men.

It goes on to become even more confusing:

We're all human beings because of abilities like standing, talking, laughing, and pointing your finger.

Sorry, non-verbal kids in wheelchairs who were born without hands. You're not human. Or... are you?

Even if we have different abilities, we're all human beings.

Things don't get any clearer going forward. Many of the definitions for the words seem to be rather utopian. They're the way things should be, not how they actually are. I mean, I'm not asking for a depressing alphabet book, but this just doesn't seem to reflect the reality of our world at all. I'm tempted to think that the whole book was written from a place of privilege. It's entirely possible, given the author's somewhat strange definition of "privilege":

Privilege is when a human being receives benefits and advantages based on a category like gender or class or an ability like seeing and hearing.

Gender or class? Yes, of course gender and class come into play with privilege. But seeing and hearing? Privilege is usually talked about as something that's enjoyed by a smaller group of people. In painstakingly avoiding the words "disability" and "disabled" (they don't appear anywhere in the book), the author seems to be trying to redefine "privilege" when what she really means is "advantage".

The problems don't end there. Some definitions are really vague and/or confusing (A value is an expression of how to live a belief.) or don't make sense at all (A question is the opposite of a belief.). And then we get to S and T. S is for "sex". Unfortunately, "sex" gets conflated with "gender". And T is for "transgender". But then the book implies that non-binary people are transgender. Confused yet?

The icing on the cake is Z, which tries to introduce the gender-neutral pronoun "ze". To toddlers. You know, the kids who still construct sentences like, "Me want cookie." For good measure, "zir" is thrown in there, too, without any explanation.

I would never try to read this to a toddler. Older kids would probably get more out of it, but the age group who might be able to decipher the mangled word definitions would likely think this is a book for babies and avoid it. So I really don't know who this book is going to work for. As an adult, I was annoyed by all the questionable definitions and awkward phrasing. I can only imagine that children would be hopelessly confused. The intention here is good... but perhaps trying to teach these social-justice concepts to toddlers was a little too ambitious.

Thank you to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children's Books for providing a digital ARC.
Profile Image for Julie.
1,947 reviews38 followers
December 8, 2019
I discovered this vibrant board book on a book truck of new materials at the Library. I love the concept and the vivid colors. I was a bit non-plussed by the sophisticated explanations, which seemed aimed at a much higher reading level than the usual board book audience. Perhaps the intention is to read it as a family? To clarify: A simpler explanation is provided under each letter on the right hand page and the more in-depth explanation is on the left-hand page. I shared this book with my family members (all adults) and it was received favorably with one caveat, that the definition for LGBTQIA implies that it is a choice using the phrase, "It's okay to be whoever you want to be," rather than explaining that individuals are born this way.
6,154 reviews69 followers
August 15, 2019
I like ABC book I think they are important. I also I'm fully about equality and people rights and all that. But trying to mixed them together is an easy expecting failure. ABC book are for kids to help remember the alphabet and maybe build some vocabulary while at it. Not sure that three sentences about immigration for the letter I, or again three sentences long for oppression for the O and so on... is well adapted to their targeted reader age... The letter are also poorly represented and the only show the capital letters. Good intention but not worth it!
Profile Image for B | crumbledpages.
474 reviews84 followers
September 5, 2020
This book was beautifully illustrated and it is very important for younger kids to know the terms related to equality and justice so that they can understand them at a very young age and grow up to be kind human beings.
Profile Image for Genevieve Trono.
594 reviews98 followers
August 15, 2019
I have mixed feelings about this one. I love ABC books and books that share about the topic of equality are super important...but I think these two together are a little tough considering who the target audience would be.

Our kids are older (almost 7 & 9) and the descriptions of each letter were perfect for them, but they are beyond the age of ABC type books. I think for the audience that would be reading this (pre-k), the explanations might be a bit beyond their comprehension.

I love this idea, and this was a great conversation starter for our kids that shared these important books in a totally accessible way for elementary school-aged children...I just would have loved a different format!
Profile Image for Morris.
964 reviews161 followers
August 23, 2019
I really like the concept of this book. However, it does seem more aimed at older grade school children. The explanations of some of the words were very advanced. The illustrations are bright and fun. If only the basic ABC pages are read, and the other parts saved for later, I do believe it can be adapted for younger children.

This unbiased review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
345 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2019
I wish this board book had been around when my children were younger. Regardless we read through this together and it came with many questions. Some were difficult but that’s the mark of a good children’s book. I want my children to learn, I want their questions. Even the most difficult ones. This will be a staple gift for all new babies in my life.

I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest unedited feedback.

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Profile Image for Wayne McCoy.
3,857 reviews22 followers
September 30, 2019
'An ABC of Equality' by Chana Ginelle Ewing with illustrations by Paulina Morgan is a board book with a definite agenda. If you agree with that agenda, you will love this book. If you don't, you won't. My review is asking if it works as a board book for toddlers.

Teaching equality is a noble aim, and I understand what the author is attempting. Unfortunately, I think it conceptually fails on a few levels. One function of an ABC book is to teach the very young the letters we use to form words. Usually these are accompanied by illustrations that help serve as mnemonic devices to remember, like an apple or a zebra. Here the illustrations are for concepts like belief or ability. While I like the illustrations, they don't convey anything memorable for little readers.

Secondly, each entry is accompanied by text to explain things, and for the very young, I think these are a bit wordy and don't actually explain things well enough. I'm not sure how a three year old would get the concept of transgender or xenophobia. Books can inform conversations, but concepts like these are not as easy.

I like the concept and the colorful illustrations. I just don't think it works as a book for the very young.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Quarto Publishing Group - Frances Lincoln Childrens, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
Profile Image for Natalie  all_books_great_and_small .
2,103 reviews74 followers
September 17, 2020
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

An ABC of equality is an ABC book with a difference. This book focuses on equality in life and covers topics like gender, feminism, immigration and disabilities to name just a few.
This is a great, diverse book for children but I would say its for children aged 8+.

Each letter of the alphabet has a two page spread - one page for the illustrations and 1 page for the description of the word starting with that letter and linking it to equality.
Profile Image for Kelly  Russo .
88 reviews7 followers
July 29, 2020
I was very impressed with the clever author's ability to broach the subject of diversity and acceptance starting with early learning for children. A topic that is vital in the world today.
Profile Image for Finley Farmer.
32 reviews1 follower
August 21, 2019
There is so much to love about this book. Words like class, gender, ability, etc are all explained in an easy way for young children to read. I have issue with two letters, however.

Human being for H goes on to use the description man, woman, and children, which ignores the previous letter g for gender talking about all the genders that exist. It makes it seem like those genders are not included in being human. This was an oversight and needs to be fixed.

L should be used for Love to talk about gay, lesbian, asexuality and bisexuality since transgender, gender, sex, and ze all cover the t and I in lgbtqia. There is no discussion in this book about how being gay is okay and that you can love who you want. Again, I think this was an oversight. Who you love being accepted is just as important as your gender being recognized.

Overall, though, the book is fabulous, and I'll be buying a copy for my kids. Thank you Quarto Publishing for letting me review this book. My opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jennie Seaman.
588 reviews8 followers
August 27, 2019
What an adorable book! I loved it so much! I read it to my 2-year-old niece and she loved it as well! It was so much fun and I loved how inclusive it was. Will definitely be buying this one for all the children in my life!
August 25, 2019
As an educator, I love the fact this book provides enough visuals and terminology for scholars to understand. It is not too overwhelming to engage scholars, it is a beginning point for scholars to research further. I love it and cannot wait to share it with my students.
2,357 reviews5 followers
August 19, 2019
There was no book like this when I was growing up. This is a modern, social justice based ABC. While its board book format makes this a book for toddlers to look at, the concepts are more sophisticated and for (slightly) older children...or the book can grow with your child. A few examples: D is for Difference, G is for Gender, P is for Privilege, etc. Each concept is explained in a positive way. The illustrations are bright, appealing and inclusive. This book is a good resource for opening discussion about how people treat one another.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.
August 23, 2019
Amazing book, bright, colourful and appealing will draw the attention of everyone not just children. Full of very important lessons and messages and never talks down. Great reading to help introduce ideas and questions, should be in all pre_schools, nurseries and libraries.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Profile Image for Leah Horton.
406 reviews13 followers
August 14, 2019
An ABC of Equality is the simplest, most colourful, beautiful and straightforward book I have ever seen to explain equality. Gender, sex, race, religion, etc. It is all here and easy to understand.

This book should absolutely be a must own on any parents shelves. Not only would it teach children early about how important these words are, but it would help parents to understand better.

Ignorance, fear and learning all contribute to problems we face and create inequality. Wisdom, love and understanding are what we need for a brighter future.

I will be telling EVERYONE I know to get this book.

Huge bonus for adorable and colourful illustrations.
Profile Image for Fern.
273 reviews11 followers
October 31, 2020
An engaging and colourful celebration of our wonderful world and everyone in it, no matter their gender, class or race!

With A for Ability, F for Feminism and L for LGBTQIA, author Chana Ginelle Ewing and illustrator Paulina Morgon, have introduced some empowering concepts perfect for some discussion starters with your little ones.
Profile Image for Isabelle.
447 reviews36 followers
September 20, 2019
An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing is the kind of book I am excited to add to my shelf to share with children. This book has a lot of words that will help you explain to your young children about social justice and how to be supportive of many different kinds of people. The illustrations that go with each letter are cute and the descriptions are easy to understand for the age level.
Profile Image for Kristina Jean Lareau.
2,934 reviews35 followers
February 8, 2021
A well-constructed and colorful book with excellent, child-friendly explanations of the various concepts of equality.
August 28, 2019
Love this colorful, cheerful book. It begins the necessary conversations we all need to have to create a more equal society. Science has proved that prejudice can show itself with babies as young as 6 months old. Even if some of the concepts may be a bit advanced for a toddler, we are never too young to begin these conversations, and we can grow into our understanding. The younger we start, the better off we’ll all be.
Profile Image for Jenny Houle.
878 reviews8 followers
August 28, 2019
An all exclusive ABC book that helps start conversations at an earlier age than ever before. Colorful and engaging, this book discusses things like the differences in (A is for) “Abilities”, the importance of respecting (N is for) “No”, etc. Absolutely want to get copies for the young ones in my family.
Profile Image for Emily✨.
1,611 reviews30 followers
July 25, 2020
UPDATE 7/25/2020 - When I saw this title pop up on NetGalley with a 2020 release date, I had a bit of deja vu. But then I wondered if the authors might have actually taken some of the criticism the book received from early reviewers and made changes. I had to find out! So, I read a ARC of this children's board book for the second time.

And yes, changes were made! I think overall the quality is definitely improved, and some of the quotes I listed in my original review were not in this new version (and were re-written much better). However, not everything I listed as problematic was changed (e.g. the "H" page ditched the ableism but still only refers to "men, women, and children like you!" as human, rather than including non-binary genders). And I still sort of think the book as a whole is too advanced for the age demographic of a board book. ***ETA: I have just discovered that this 2020 edition is actually a hardback picture book, not a board book. Which makes it slightly better. Though now I have no idea if the wording used in the hardback version is the same as the board book, or if the board book was published with some of the problematic phrasing of the original ARC I read.***

Still, I admire that criticism was actually taken into account by the authors/publishers and changes were made. Thank you so much (again) to the publisher for providing me with this eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!


The concept is good, and the illustrations are bright and pleasing. The execution... is a miss, unfortunately.

It's very wordy for a board book, first of all. I always wonder how useful these "woke" titles actually are for the supposed target age range?

Then, there are some issues with the given definitions for some of the terms. Examples:
➼"C is for Class" was... just weird. It's basically like 'all the classes are okay!' which completely ignores that class differences aren't a GOOD thing?? Class is something imposed on people in an unjust and unequal society-- it's completely different from intrinsic qualities like race/skin color or chosen identities like faith.
➼"H is for Human Being" says that we're humans "because of [our] abilities" which seems ableist, and "We're all human: men, women, and children like you!" which leaves out genders outside of the binary (which is especially weird since the previous page "G is for Gender" addresses non-binary genders).
➼"L is for LGBTQIA" ignores the existence of the 'plus' and states that Q stands for "questioning" rather than Queer.
➼"R is for Race" conflates race and ethnicity.
➼"S is for Sex" conflates sex and gender.

In short: good idea, poor execution.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
December 6, 2019
Chana Ginell Ewing structures An ABC of Equality around each letter of the alphabet, starting at Ability, passing Kindness, and Xenophobia, all on the path to Ze. Each layout in this vibrant picture book serves as a primer for both young and old in preparation of respectful conversations relating to complex issues such as ethnical and cultural diversity as well as class and gender. In fact, this book empowers a reader’s confident acceptance of themselves and others.

With color and bold graphics, illustrator Paulina Morgan frames this book of tolerance with whimsy in a visually pleasing and child-friendly package.
Profile Image for Aimee Dars.
991 reviews85 followers
September 1, 2019
A refreshingly new take on an ABC primer, An ABC of Equality introduces children to complicated and important topics like gender, justice, privilege, and consent. Though the concepts sound weighty, they are presented in a lively, accessible, and positive manner that invites conversation between young readers and their guardians.

The bright and colorful illustrations represent children of all races, genders, and abilities and invite identification from all readers. They are clever and fun; I particularly liked the expressions and hand gestures on the “Yes” and “No” pages which help explain consent.

Any parents or guardians who want to introduce social justice concepts to young readers will benefit reading this book with their child.
Profile Image for Lena.
26 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2023
This book is obviously not something I would read in my day-to-day life nowadays, but I chose this book for an assignment in my Children’s Literature class because I thought it was beautifully drawn and an incredibly educational take on current mindsets. I loved that it not only was a way to teach the alphabet to kids, but it taught kids about more “adult” things in an appropriate yet uncensored manner. This is the world we live in now, and kids should be aware of these things because they live in it too. Overall, it was also just stinking cute in presentation.
Profile Image for The Kawaii Slartibartfast.
898 reviews20 followers
September 7, 2019
I received va copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, how I wish there had books like this when I was growing up.

This vibrant and charming book should be required reading for all classrooms
Profile Image for Emily Tucker.
110 reviews13 followers
October 14, 2019
This does not align with my personal beliefs about gender and other things. I would not suggest this for Christians and many other religious groups that would find this offensive and inappropriate for children. It is unfortunate because the illustrations are very beautiful and many portions I do agree with. This digital copy was provided for me by NetGalley.
Profile Image for Jeanna Cooper.
269 reviews8 followers
March 6, 2020
I had the misfortune of finding this in the baby board book section of our library. LGBTQ propaganda for babies.
Profile Image for Hannah.
655 reviews48 followers
December 20, 2020
This is one of those picture books with multiple reading levels. There will be your usual "P is for Privilege" line, then a one-sentence definition, and then a longer concept explanation. Obviously, this will bother some people, but it works really well for my kids, who are 8yo and 1yo and at different levels of understanding. There are a few questionable definitions in this book. I think the problem is where the author tried to over-simplify a few concepts and messed up in their phrasing, rather than it being intentional phrasing on their part. The ones that stood out to me were the use of the word "choice" when explaining "LGBTQIA" and the contradictory ideas of abilities defining but not defining who is human. So, the book isn't perfect. But I don't think it's ever too early to introduce kids to words and ideas we hope they'll just grow up with and embody rather than having to reteach them things they'll internalize from the outside world, and this book is a good step in that direction.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 120 reviews

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