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We Are All Born Free

Posted on Dec 10, 2010

(Frances Lincoln)
Today is Human Rights Day and two years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrated its 60th birthday. I remember the first time I properly read it. It was 22 years ago, the Declaration was 40, I was 13, and my history teacher had made us study it,, after showing us the film Sacco and Vanzetti (with the famous song by Joan Baez).

To celebrate the Declaration’s 60th birthday, Amnesty International released a superb album in which artists and illustrators of international fame offered their interpretation of each of the 30 articles of the Declaration.
The list is impressive: John Burningham, Niki Daly, Korky Paul, Jane Ray, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ole Könnecke, Piet Grobler, Fernando Vilela, Polly Dunbar, Bob Graham, Alan Lee, Hong Sung Dam, Frans Lessac Sybille Hein, Marie-Louise Gay, Jessica Souhami, Debi Gliori, Satoshi Kitamura, Gusti, Catherine and Laurence Anholt, Jackie Morris, Brita Granström, Gilles Rapaport, Nicholas Allan, Axel Scheffler, Chris Riddell, Marcia Williams, Peter Sis.


The illustrations are beautiful and so eclectic. My favourites are those created by Polly Dunbar, Debi Gliori and Gusti:




The most haunting, but particularly effective I think, is Jane Ray’s:




The forewords are written by John Boyne, who writes that according to him, this book “might be the most important one you ever own” and David Tennant who writes so truthfully that the book offers “thirty rules for the world to live by.”


This is such a beautiful book, and offers a simplified version of a text that every child should have access to. It seems very important for children to understand that we are very fortunate, and that not everyone is that lucky. I think every household should have a copy of The Declaration of Human Rights, and every child should be made aware of what they mean, and this certainly is a beautiful edition.


The text is suitable for 7 + I would say, but the illustrations speak for themselves, and therefore is suitable for everyone.


Here is a lovely introduction which was made at the time of publication:

All proceeds go to Amnesty International. Buy it!
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2 Comments

  1. How wonderful. Thank you for the post 😀

  2. Lovely illustrations indeed Melanie. Will have to reserve a copy from the library.

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