Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Prejudice & Racism

Up Above and Down Below

by (author) Paloma Valdivia

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Aug 2012
Prejudice & Racism, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 6
  • Grade: p to 2


“In the world, there are different kinds of people,” opens Up Above and Down Below. The ones on the top think the ones on the bottom are different. The ones down below they think the ones up above are different. But what if they all turned themselves upside down? Would everyone find that they’re all the same, except in a few small ways? 
Through award-winning translator Susan Ouriou, author-illustrator Paloma Valdivia explores this complex philosophical question and encourages young readers to appreciate the differences among people as well as their similarities. The short sentences and stylized, surreal illustrations will draw readers into the whimsical worlds of up above and down below, delighting and enlightening them as they complete their tour. 

About the author

PALOMA VALDIVIA was born in Chile where she studied design, followed by post-graduate studies in illustration in Barcelona. She has collaborated with several media companies, museums and publishing houses, and she has published many illustrated children’s books. She won a prestigious Plaque award at the Biennial of Illustrations, Bratislava, and the Spanish edition of this book won Santiago’s municipal award, Mexico’s CANIEM award and an honorable mention for the Bologna Ragazzi Award. Paloma lives in Chile.


Paloma Valdivia's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A great story-starter for many disciplines. It can be used to introduce little ones to the concept of social studies, geography, and even the curious law of gravity."

Picture Book Depot

"This is a very simple look at how people from different places are not so dissimilar, aimed at young children - it's a perfect starting place, especially for a group, for it doesn't get into specifics at all…Instead, it keeps things light…quirky illustrations with a nice degree of whimsy."

Shelf Candy

"This book is a definite thumbs up above for teaching unity, equality, curiosity and tolerance!"

Resource Links

"The sweet illustrations in this flip-around book sell the sweet message."

Media Macaroni

"A visually stunning, gently restrained picture book that should be high up on readers' lists."

Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Valdivia accompanies her spare text with stylized, but equally spare, illustrations that draw readers into the two different-but-not-so-different worlds of up above and down below."

Sally's Bookshelf

"Whimsical and funny...[a] cleverly designed book."

School Library Journal

"A gentle and well-designed introduction to recognizing different points of view - and a reminder that people are the same wherever they live."

Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"[The] pleasurable play of space and form is a strength of this book."

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

"... this edifying book provides hope that the inequities of our times may give way to a more cooperative model of humans flourishing in community."

Spirituality & Practice

"Broader lessons are left to be intuited, something to ponder over juice box and Goldfish. Valdivia's deceptively simple illustrations also merit further exploration."

The New York Times

Librarian Reviews

Up Above and Down Below

In the world, there are different kinds of people. The ones on the top think the ones on the bottom are different, and vice versa. This book encourages young readers to appreciate people for their similarities and differences. Also available: Who's Next Door? by Mayuko Kishira

This is an excellent resource for drawing comparisons between cultures by helping students consider the differences and similarities that their cultures have with others around the world. This picture book can teach geography students how the equator divides the world “up above” and “down below.” The book is a good introduction to geography, and an exploration of the map of the world.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

Other titles by Paloma Valdivia

Related lists