Thursday, October 22, 2020

Blog Tour: Sometimes a Wall... by Dianne White, illustrated by Barroux

Sometimes A Wall...written by Dianne White,
illustrated by Barroux
Owlkids, 2020, 32 pages

We hear a lot about walls these days, and they can have different reasons for being, as young readers learn in this new picture book. Kids see that walls can be drawn on with chalk, or they can be a wall of cooling water on a hot summer day, they can even be a rock wall on which to practice climbing.  And sometimes walls can be inclusionary, but they can also be exclusionary.

And sometimes when a wall is exclusionary, the children behind it can be mean, and the child outside the wall can be hurt by their taunts and lies. When one boy inside a wall decides to turn it into a castle, after all the other kids work together to build it, he selfishly shouts MINE and wants all the other children go away. But sometimes, having your own castle surrounded by a wall and no friends can get pretty lonely. Perhaps a new start can turn things around because...

When I first read this book, I loved it, but I was also afraid it might be a little to metaphorical for my young readers. And it was. However, it generated some really good conversations and reflexions regarding what this book says about friendship, inclusion, empathy, kindness, and connection. These are big words and ideas for young kids, but this book so nicely illustrates what they mean using the sparest of text and simple, but expressive illustrations. We've read Sometimes a Wall... a number of times now, and each time it get richer and more meaningful. The kids also had some fun with the two coloring pages (see below for the link) that go with this book. 

Who is Dianne White and why did she write Sometimes a Wall...?
A conversation with a friend got author Dianne White thinking about different kinds of wall, both physical and metaphorical. Sometimes a an exploration of these, and with it, an invitation to take down barriers and find common ground. Dianne's other books include Green on Green and Who Eats Orange? A long-time elementary school teacher, she lives with her family in Gilbert, Arizona. To learn more, and to download a discussion guide and more, visit Dianne's website at
You can also find her on Twitter @diannewrites and on Facebook: Dianne White

Thanks to the publisher Owlkids, you can find a discussion guide for Sometimes a Wall...HERE

This book is recommended for readers age 4+
This book was gratefully received from Barbara Fisch at Blue Slip Media

Teachers and parents may also be interested in looking at A Lesson in 3 Movements...

• Intro to the Unit (PLEASE READ FIRST!)

• What’s Different About Reading Wordless/Nearly Wordless Picture Books?

• 1st Movement : TOGETHER (I Walk with Vanessa by Kerasco√ęt)

• 2nd Movement: APART (Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi)

• 3rd Movement: REGRET. NEW START? (Sometimes a Wall … by Dianne White, illustrated by Barroux)

The "Why" behind the book:



As for those Coloring Pages for younger students:

Artist Barroux lives in Paris, France, and has studies photography, art, sculpture, and architecture. His work has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He believes that the world needs fewer walls and more trees. You can find him on Instagram: @barrouxillustrations

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