You Are a Story

Holiday House/Neal Porter. Feb. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823449149.
Gr 1-5–This book breaks being human down into chapterlike sections, each of which begins with a bold face sentence. “You are” a living thing, someone’s child, an animal, a body of water, an astronaut, a sponge, a friend, under construction, a mystery, one-of-a-kind, a miracle, a story. The chapters range from a single spread to several pages long and clearly and efficiently cover a lot of ground without being heavy-handed or didactic. They dispense facts (“More than half of you is made from water”), speculate (“Where will you live?”), and give advice (“Tell your story to others. Then listen to theirs”). The illustrations, featuring people with a variety of skin tones and abilities, enhance the text with lively scenes in various styles that will keep readers engaged. It would pair beautifully with Howard Schwartz’s All You Need.
VERDICT This delightful primer on being human is a mix of facts, speculation, and advice which is not to be missed. It will definitely get kids and adults alike thinking about what it means to be them in this world both now and in the future.

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