“Captivating Children’s Book Wins 2023 Children’s Book of the Year”


Children Who Dance in the Rain is a delightful children’s book that has been awarded the 2023 Children’s Book of the Year. It is a heartwarming story about kindness, gratitude, and a child’s determination to make a positive change in the world. With beautiful illustrations and a powerful message, this book has captivated readers of all ages. In this review, I will share my personal experience with the book and offer my overall conclusion.

I bought this book as a gift for my 8-year-old granddaughter, and it turned out to be a wonderful choice. The story, accompanied by gorgeous artwork, kept her engaged and inspired. We enjoyed reading it together as a bedtime story, and it sparked meaningful conversations about kindness and empathy. The book’s message about the importance of gratitude resonated deeply with both of us. It quickly became one of her favorite books, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

Gorgeous Artwork and Engaging Story

One of the standout aspects of Children Who Dance in the Rain is its stunning artwork. With beautiful illustrations by Lena Bardy, the book truly comes to life on the pages. The colors are vibrant, the characters are expressive, and the attention to detail is remarkable. Each page is a visual treat that will captivate young readers and adults alike.But it’s not just the artwork that shines in this book. The story itself is engaging and heartwarming. It follows the journey of Sophie, a young girl who learns the importance of kindness, gratitude, and determination. The narrative is well-written and flows smoothly, making it easy for children to follow along and stay engaged. Overall, Children Who Dance in the Rain offers a delightful reading experience that combines beautiful artwork with a compelling story.

Sparking Conversations about Privilege

Children Who Dance in the Rain is not just a simple children’s book. It tackles important themes such as privilege and gratitude, making it a valuable tool for starting conversations with children. The story presents the concept of privilege in a relatable way, allowing young readers to understand the different circumstances people may face.Many parents have found that reading this book with their children has sparked meaningful discussions about empathy, compassion, and the importance of recognizing our own privileges. It encourages children to think about the world around them and consider how they can make a positive impact. By addressing these complex topics in a kid-friendly manner, Children Who Dance in the Rain becomes more than just a story – it becomes a catalyst for important conversations.

A Message of Kindness and Gratitude

At its core, Children Who Dance in the Rain delivers a powerful message of kindness and gratitude. Through Sophie’s journey, readers learn the importance of showing compassion towards others and expressing gratitude for the blessings in their own lives. The book encourages children to spread kindness and make a difference, no matter how small.The message of gratitude is especially timely in today’s world, where it’s easy to focus on the negative and overlook the positive. Children Who Dance in the Rain reminds us all to appreciate the little things and find joy in everyday moments. It’s a message that resonates with both children and adults alike, reminding us of the power of kindness and gratitude in shaping a better world.

Captivating Storytelling and Life Lessons

Children Who Dance in the Rain is a captivating book that weaves together two continents and delivers powerful life lessons. The storytelling by Susan Justice is masterful, drawing readers into Sophie’s world and taking them on an emotional journey. The book teaches children about gratitude, understanding privilege, and the importance of kindness in a way that is relatable and impactful.The core values presented in the book, such as gratitude and empathy, are essential for children to learn and embrace. By sharing these lessons through a compelling story, Children Who Dance in the Rain leaves a lasting impression on young readers. It not only entertains but also educates, making it a valuable addition to any child’s bookshelf.

Inspiring Change and Making a Difference

Children Who Dance in the Rain is more than just a book – it’s a call to action. Through Sophie’s determination to change the world and make a difference, young readers are inspired to do the same. The book encourages children to believe in themselves, follow their dreams, and use their voice to create positive change.By showcasing the power of kindness, gratitude, and determination, Children Who Dance in the Rain empowers children to believe in their ability to make a difference, no matter how small. It instills a sense of agency and responsibility in young readers, reminding them that they have the power to shape a better world.

Beautifully Illustrated and Memorable

Children Who Dance in the Rain is a book that leaves a lasting impression. Beyond its powerful message and engaging story, the book is beautifully illustrated by Lena Bardy. The artwork is vibrant, detailed, and truly brings the story to life. The illustrations not only enhance the reading experience but also make the book memorable and visually appealing.Children will be drawn to the colorful illustrations and the expressive characters. The combination of captivating storytelling and stunning artwork makes Children Who Dance in the Rain a book that children will want to read again and again. It’s a book that will stay with them long after they’ve turned the final page.

Teaching Compassion and Empathy

Children Who Dance in the Rain is a book that goes beyond entertainment. It serves as a valuable tool for teaching children about compassion and empathy. Through Sophie’s journey, young readers learn the importance of understanding and caring for others. The book encourages children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and consider different perspectives.By promoting empathy, Children Who Dance in the Rain helps children develop important social and emotional skills. It fosters a sense of compassion and teaches children how to relate to others with kindness and understanding. In a world that often needs more empathy, this book offers a valuable resource for parents and educators alike.

Inspiring Gratitude and Positive Mindset

In a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming, Children Who Dance in the Rain offers a message of gratitude and a positive mindset. The book teaches children to appreciate the small things in life and find joy in everyday moments. It encourages them to focus on the positives and adopt a grateful attitude.By instilling a sense of gratitude in young readers, Children Who Dance in the Rain helps them develop resilience and a positive outlook on life. It reminds children that even in difficult times, there is always something to be thankful for. This book is a powerful tool for promoting gratitude and nurturing a positive mindset in children.

A Book That Makes a Difference

Children Who Dance in the Rain is not just another children’s book – it’s a book that makes a difference. With its powerful message, engaging storytelling, and beautiful illustrations, it has the potential to shape young minds and inspire positive change. It teaches children about kindness, gratitude, and the importance of making a difference in the world.Parents, educators, and children themselves have praised this book for its ability to spark meaningful conversations, promote empathy, and instill a sense of gratitude. Children Who Dance in the Rain is a book that will leave a lasting impact on young readers, encouraging them to embrace kindness, spread positivity, and believe in their ability to change the world.


  • Gorgeous artwork – The illustrations in “Children Who Dance in the Rain” are absolutely stunning, capturing the attention of both children and adults alike.
  • Important message about kindness and gratitude – This book teaches children about the importance of compassion, empathy, and gratitude, instilling these values from a young age.
  • Real-life inspiration – The story is based on actual events, making it even more impactful and relatable for readers.


  • Religious elements – Some readers may feel that the inclusion of religious underpinnings in the story is unnecessary or exclusive.
  • Limited diversity – While the story promotes kindness and inclusivity, some readers may feel that there could be more representation of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Potential for confusion – The ending of the book, which ties the message of gratitude to a particular higher being, may be confusing or off-putting for readers with different beliefs.


    Children Who Dance in the Rain is an absolutely beautiful book that delivers a powerful message. The combination of a heartwarming story, captivating illustrations, and themes of kindness and gratitude make it a must-read for children and adults alike. The book’s ability to spark important conversations about privilege and compassion is commendable. Although there are some religious elements in the story, it does not overshadow the overall message of gratitude and kindness. I highly recommend Children Who Dance in the Rain as a valuable addition to any child’s bookshelf.

    Questions & Answers:

    Question: What age range is this book suitable for?

    Answer: “Children Who Dance in the Rain” is suitable for children ages 4-8, but can also be enjoyed by older children and even adults.

    Question: Are the illustrations engaging for young readers?

    Answer: Yes, the illustrations in this book are vibrant, captivating, and sure to grab the attention of young readers.

    Question: Is there a discussion guide or activities included with the book?

    Answer: No, there is no discussion guide or activities included with the book. However, caregivers can easily create their own discussions and activities based on the themes presented in the story.

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