FICTION

Be Who You Are

illus. by Todd Parr. 32p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316265232.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 2—The title of this book says it all. The message, repeated in large, colorful letters across brightly colored backgrounds with lots of simple, cartoonish illustrations, is one for every child to hear. The sentence, "Be proud of where you're from" is illustrated with six different abodes: a thatched-roof hut, a trailer, a doghouse, a single home, an apartment house, and a Middle Eastern—style building. "Be your own family" is illustrated with a spaceship filled with individuals of different colors, genders, and species (there is a dog included), all with alien horns. A simple message is repeated with new examples on each spread. Parr's illustrations have a touch of Keith Haring and a smidge of "POW!" (as seen in pop art), which are very effective for getting readers' attention. Combine this offering with Kerascoët's Paul and Antoinette as a starting point for a lively conversation about individuality, diversity, and acceptance. Extend the discussion to include more focus on individuals with disabilities by adding Kathy Hoopmann's All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome.
VERDICT A first choice for all collections. There cannot be too many options that encourage this sentiment in children.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month