A WORLD TOGETHER Promotes Unity by Celebrating Cultural and Generational Diversity

During an unprecedented time when the world truly must come together as one, Sonia Manzano, “Sesame Street’s” beloved character Maria, offers readers warmth and wit in a timely picture book that looks across cultures and generations to celebrate what unites us, wherever we come from. Today, National Geographic is honored to unveil A World Together (Sept. 15, 2020; ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3; ages 4–8; $17.99) by Sonia Manzano.

Found within this unique title, Manzano’s lyrical prose combined with stunning photography of people from dozens of countries around the world — including Thailand, Egypt, France, the U.S. and countless more — explores how all of our lives are enriched by our geographic and cultural diversity. Kids will see how people around the world look, dress and spend their day, and learn that what we enjoy and value — friends, family, food, play — may sometimes look different, but deep down is the same wherever you go.

An award-winning children’s book author in addition to her other talents, Manzano says she “jumped at the chance National Geographic gave me of continuing to spread the word of multicultural understanding through A World TogetherCreating a presentation through words and pictures of how we’d like our world to be was exhilarating. I tried to make A World Together a refreshing take on a familiar theme. I wanted it to celebrate what connects us wherever we come from, whether it’s a block away or the other side of the planet.”

This lovely picture book from a first-generation mainland Puerto Rican will affirm our common humanity as it presents the glorious similarities and differences that connect us all — and will teach us that with laugher and love, we can help bring a world together.


Sonia Manzano is a first-generation mainland Puerto Rican, raised in the South Bronx. In the early 1970s a scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University, where she participated in the creation of the hit Broadway show “Godspell.” From there she went on to affect the lives of millions of children and parents when she was offered the opportunity to create the role of Maria on “Sesame Street.”

Manzano has received 15 Emmys for staff writing “Sesame Street,” the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education. In 2016, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

A World Together is Manzano’s first book for National Geographic. She is also the author of the picture books “No Dogs Allowed,” “A Box Full of Kittens” and “Miracle on 133rd Street”; the YA novel “The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano”; and the memoir “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.”

Manzano is currently working toward the creation of a Bronx Children’s Museum with actual walls — it’s now in a bus! She is also developing an animated children’s series with The Fred Rogers Company.

A World Together, published by National Geographic Kids Books, releases Sept. 15, 2020.


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