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*Paul & Sebastian* by Rene Escudie, illustrated by Ulises Wensell
 
Also illustrated by Ulises Wensell:

The Best Family in the World
Paul & Sebastian
by Rene Escudie, illustrated by Ulises Wensell
Ages 4-8 32 pages Kane/Miller March 1994 Paperback    

As our communities become more diverse and the need for tolerance becomes increasingly important, it is reassuring to know that books such as Paul & Sebastianby Rene Escudie, illustrated by Ulises Wensell are being written for the benefit of both impressionable young children and adults who have the potential to make such a tremendous impact on their lives.

When Paulís mother, raising her son in a green trailer with blue curtains, and Sebastianís mother, raising her son in a blue apartment with green curtains, forbid their children from playing with each other because of their differences, the children dutifully follow their parentsí instructions. As a society, it is unlikely we would admonish the children for listening to their parents since we encourage young children to follow, not question, authority figures. After all, we often tell our children, parents know what is best.

It is not until the children find themselves lost in the woods after becoming separated from their class on a school trip that they look to each other for comfort and solace, quickly forgetting the divisiveness initiated by their parents. From there they build a genuine friendship, blind to the differences their parents viewed as the justification for keeping them apart.

When the children are finally rescued but returned to their wrong homes, the sweet story continues to illustrate the importance of tolerance and the reality that children are born without prejudices but internalize those stereotypes and misconceptions communicated to them by their parents and their communities. Paul & Sebastian
by Rene Escudie, illustrated by Ulises Wensell is a simple but powerful reminder of our responsibility to not only learn these important lessons but to pass them along for the benefit of our children.



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