BOOKS
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. 32p. Abrams. Oct. 2018. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781419731655.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 3—This companion book to I Am Yoga and I Am Peace explores what it means to be human. It begins with "I was born. A miracle! One of billions but unique!" and continues with traits that make us human—learning, having dreams, seeing possibility, curiosity, wonder, and friendships. Then it addresses the not-so-great stuff: hurting others with words or actions; being fearful or sad. It also offers a way to get beyond the not-perfect bits—with thoughtfulness, kindness, helping, being fair, listening, and apologizing. Verde brings it all together in the end with the connectedness of humans to each other. The clear and concise text is well-matched by Reynolds' familiar illustrations in which viewers follow an unnamed boy of color (born on page one) on his human journey. As in the previous books, each page features an abundance of white space around the main illustration, giving readers plenty of room to absorb the thoughtful text. An author's note on being human with a short lesson on loving-kindness meditation is appended.
VERDICT An age-appropriate and hopeful look at what it means to be a connected human on this planet. It can be read as a picture book with big ideas or used as a great discussion starter.

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