Rebecca Zak is a teacher from Toronto, Canada, where her class in any given year is made up of a multicultural mix of young people. Taking inspiration from this experience, Zak sought to create a story full of characters that mirrored the diversity of where she lived.
Taking place on photo day at school, the book is particularly intended for use in the classroom as a resource for teaching lessons on inclusiveness. The teacher narrator in the story greets each student as they arrive at school, affirming their individual beauty and uniqueness. While the text speaks subtly to the children’s similarities, diversity is alluded to in the highly realistic hand painted illustrations, also created by Zak. After introducing each child, the story concludes with a group shot of the whole class together, which is really the cutest picture of all.
Whether you are from a town where folks mostly look the same, or a city with people from all different backgrounds, the message at the heart of this story is truly a beautiful thing worth reading.
Title: The Cutest Face: Celebrating Diversity and Equity in the Classroom
Author and Illustrator: Rebecca Zak
Publisher: Zak Books, $15.00
Publication Date: 28 June 2010
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 3 – 12
Type: Picture Book
This book is available online