Beautifully nuanced and instantly comprehensible, Bell’s heartwarming tale of a town where people are separated by hate and unkindness is a subtly reflective story about compassion and unity. The town in The Rounders and the Tallers used to be a happy place until the Rounders driven by hate and unkindness decide to become the only privileged group in the entire town. The Rounders become meaner and the Tallers become sadder. But a little Taller boy gets a clever idea and brings the townsfolks together. Through the Rounders and Tallers’ story, Bell conveys the message about tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of being kind (“For to be truthful, it is very exhausting to be mean all the time and the Rounders were ready to be happy and nice.”) while enticing young readers to think about issues of racism, exclusion, and bullying. The warm coloring and personality-laden illustrations bring the characters to life, conveying the book’s simple statements of tolerance and love.
Speaking to the ever-present societal issues, the book could easily be used as a lead-in to discussions about diversity, acceptance, and kindness. This thoroughly charming and insightful picture book deserves to be on schools and public libraries shelves.
Categories: children's fiction