Perfect Picture Book Friday: Who We Are!

This fantastic picture book is one of the Cybils Fiction Picture Book nominees. It’s a great fit for Perfect Picture Book Friday. This weekly meme is hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill. Head on over to her blog to check out some other highly recommended picture books!

Title: Who We Are! All About Being the Same and Being Different

Written By: Robie H. Harris

Illustrated By: Nadine Bernard Westcott

Publisher: Candlewick Press, March 2016

Suitable For Ages: 5-9

Themes/Topics: diversity, acceptance, individuality, tolerance, inclusion

Opening: All around the world there are people – billions of people. But there is only one of you.

Brief Synopsis: (from Goodreads) New York Times best-selling author Robie H. Harris helps preschoolers understand what makes us who we are — from our height to our hair, from the shade of our skin to our eyesight.

Join Nellie, Gus, baby Jake, and their parents at Funland as they go on rides, watch performers, and play games along with many other children and grown-ups. As they enjoy their excursion, they — and young readers — notice that people are the same as one another in lots of ways, and different in lots of ways too. Accessible, humorous, family-filled illustrations; conversations between Gus and Nellie; and straightforward text come together to help children realize why it’s important to treat others the way they want to be treated and the way you want to be treated — whether a person is a lot like you or different from you, a good friend or someone you have just met or seen for the first time.

Why I Like This Book: I have read many blog posts about talking to our children about diversity and trying to break down racism. This book is the perfect tool. It’s marketed as a preschool book, but the text is long, so I think it’s better suited for early elementary age kids. It talks about the things that make us all the same – physiologically – and the outward things that make us different – skin color, eye color, hair color, favorite foods, etc. The characters in the book are a mixed race family. The brother and sister discuss their own skin colors, eye colors, hair, etc. It makes diversity very tangible for kids, and it gives parents a place to start to have this conversation. I think this book is a must read for every family and classroom.

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