"Made by Raffi" Embraces Differences

This wonderful children’s book serves to teach that it’s our differences that make us unique and interesting human beings.  Raffi isn’t a “typical boy.”  He’s shy and  doesn’t like noisy games and sadly, because he’s different, Raffi is often teased at school. 

But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad’s birthday, he is enthusiastic while the other children think it is girly and not a boy thing to knit. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem: there is  no costume for the prince. 

And that’s when Raffi has his unique  idea and demonstrates his talent — to make a prince’s cape. It’s Raffi’s ability to be different and express himself “out of the box”, that is the hit and Raffi’s cape is a big success for the show. 

Through this book, gender roles are not only questioned but the lesson taught is that  being true to oneself shouldn’t be discouraged, it should be  celebrated. 

A most important lesson for young children and reminder for parents who push their children to fit a societal mold or in the parent’s view,  rather than allow children to be who they really are.  

While “Made by Raffi,” is written in a style intended for 5 to 9 year olds, this book with a compassionate and wise message  can be appreciated by everyone. “Made by Raffi,” in it’s sweet style and bold illustrations helps to  emphasize to youngsters that the world needs those who can share and develop their interests and  talent whatever it may be. 

This valuable book and message should be discussed in every elementary school classroom and at home.  In the end, what can be joyfully discovered is that we are all “different,” and we all  have a contribution to make and that’s what truly makes our world go round.

—Diana Martinez

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