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Why Am I Me?
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Why Am I Me?

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  928 ratings  ·  246 reviews
Have you ever wondered why you are you? Or who you would be if you were someone else? Someone taller, faster, smaller, smarter? Someone lighter, older, darker, bolder?
Presented as a poetic exchange between two characters--who don't realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions--this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Scholastic Press (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  928 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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La Coccinelle
Oct 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I'm really getting tired of these picture books that are supposedly for children, but are just pretentious vehicles for the author to look smart and woke (or so they think). Merely portraying diversity in the illustrations does not a good book make.

This book could have been interesting, but it's so spare and unsatisfying that it really fails. All it does is repeat a bunch of simple existential questions, provides no answers, and calls it a day. Why am I me and not somebody else? It's something t
Oct 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really, really didn't like this book.

Like so many other books for children in recent years, it poses a deep, spiritual question, and offers no answers, no guidance, no wisdom. Children want to know about the world they live in and where they fit into it, but I'm sad to say this book will not guide them to any satisfying conclusions.

I think people who write books like this mean well, but I suspect that they don't have good answers in their own lives, for the questions they posit in literary for
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Why am I me? instead of Who I am? is the identity question. This book, with simple text, looks at diversity through the eyes of a child. Told through the thoughts of two children, it focuses on not "I" or "me," but "we." The illustrations are diverse and vibrant. ...more
Chance Lee
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-it
A deep pondering on identity, asking not "who am I?" but "why am i?" Heady stuff! The illustrations are lovely, with a subtle mixed-media flair that I've noticed in quite a few books with urban settings. Simple text and pleasing art makes this a good book to get young children thinking about the very nature of consciousness early. ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A series of wondering questions to investigate identity and empathy with stunning collaborative artwork by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls.
Oct 31, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2017, picture-books
I love these illustrators, but this book is sappy and saccharine af.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow this book makes me flippin' excited. Terrific artwork, #ownvoices, good examples for studying structure, storytelling, point of view, symbolism, inner dialogue.

In some ways it's a book that I think is more suited for older readers.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great philosophical question! I think 4 years and up will appreciate it, but older kids might just join in the discussion! great book!
With spare, poetic text and beautifully rendered illustrations, this book examines a common existential question that children and adults have tried to answer for a long, long time. As the narrator moves along a busy city street and onto a train full of fellow travelers, the question is posed and the answer seems to be everywhere around, and yet, there is no one correct answer. But in posing the question, and really taking a close look we see how there are no two people exactly the same, and at ...more
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
At the end of a day, two very thoughtful children silently contemplate their place in the world, with each wondering "Why am I me......and not you?" Though these dialogues are unspoken and internalized, the boy and girl somehow sense their like-mindedness, and converge in friendship.

The mixed-media illustrations playfully portray a diverse and lively city; the artwork is absolutely top-notch and does most of the storytelling here. The philosophical text touches upon metaphysical concepts that m
Jun 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
While I believe this book has an important message, I did not think the message was expressed effectively. I did appreciate the subtle movement from "I' to "we," via the illustrations, but the ending was rather abrupt. Just as the story was building to something, it fell flat. The story poses questions that hopefully will spark further conversation with young ones, but overall this read was unsatisfying for me. ...more
Brenda Kahn
I love this book more each time I read it. The first time was back in May. The illustrators read it aloud at their Day of Dialog panel. Once I had it in my hands to read at my leisure and to pause and consider each beautiful illustration, my appreciation for what they did here increased. It's definitely a picture book for all ages. I plan on reading it with my middle school classes. ...more
This is a book about diversity among us...I think. I like the concept, but it is way too vague for children to understand. I think children would ask the questions that are asked in the book, but it doesn't answer them. I know it's not necessarily supposed to, but I still think the book is vague. ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book because I thought it would be a book about what make me me. But no, I'm so happy I borrow this from my library and not buy it outright. It does not go into why the two characters are themselves and not someone else. It just them asking question "why am I me and not someone else?" with no answer at the end.

I don't recmomend this book for any child.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Understand that there aren't any answers here; just the questions.

They are handled in a fun and poetic way, with room for good discussions. That can mean discussing what is different and unique about everyone, or even where some of those differences and similarities might come from, physical or not. This could be especially good for families.
Michele Knott
A book that celebrates diversity and identity, this is a must read and talk about book!

10.01.17 - reread with the finished copy. Beautiful. A book that I will pour over again and again. Can't wait to share it with students in the upcoming weeks!
Erin Buhr
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A simple but thought provoking story with absolutely incredible illustrations. It took impressive imagination and vision for Sean Qualls and Selina Alko to take the simple text and create what you see on each page.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Way to send kids into an existential meltdown. :-p Asks BIG HUGE QUESTIONS OF THE UNIVERSE and offers absolutely nothing in the way of answers, even halfhearted ones.

Beautiful illustrations, though!
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The artwork is absolutely stunning here -- such a diverse group of people just being themselves and having a good time. I didn't feel like the text was quite as strong -- it felt a little repetitive to me. But overall, it's a colorful, lovely book. ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Have you ever wondered why you are you? Or who you would be if you were someone else?
Presented as an exchange between two characters--who don't realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions!
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Simple yet delightful explanation of why we are different.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
No answers, only questions beautifully rendered. Great discussion starter for kids and grown ups alike.
Edward Sullivan
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Pondering simple but profound questions.
Marissa Elera
A wonderful look at existential questions from a child's point of view. I love the allusion to us being from the stars in the illustrations. Beautiful and sophisticated. ...more
Lin Lin
The book poses a simple but thought-provoking question about identity, "Why am I me?" Two children explore the answer to the philosophical inquiry and conclude that we all belong to the same human race. There is no "you" or "me". There is us and we. Illustrations of this book are amazing. They present us a racially and culturally diverse world where we meet people who are different from us, and where we learn to respect and get along with love, kindness, and humanity. Could be an excellent choic ...more
This would be a captivating entry point to teaching empathy to children by demonstrating the basic human act of imaging life in someone else's shoes. Will be giving my copy to our parish school library. ...more
Cecile Stone
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is by Paige Britt, Sean Qualls, and Selina, it's illustrated by Scholastic. This book really reminded me of how unsure of who I was as a child and how I couldn't figure out how and if I differ from my peers around me. Any child or person can realate to this book because it represents how difficult it is to grow into yourself when you don't have a clue how to. I recommend this book because when you read it, it's going to bring down memory lane in a great way. ...more
Carson Tuscany
I thought that this book was remarkable in the fact that it provided so much to the reader while using hardly any words at all on each page. The true magic of this book comes from the in-depth, complex illustrations, and so much goes unsaid in the book that is provided in the pictures. You are taken through an entire city and introduced to a whole wide-ranging cultural environment simply through the pictures, as you follow the characters on their journey of self-discovery. I think that if the wo ...more
Kate Sumner
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke Ohrt
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Summary: In this book, it is about two characters, a boy and a girl. They see each other for the first time at the train station. The two kids have questionable thought, wondering why I am who I am and I'm not you. They then widen their thinking and wonder why everyone is who they are and not someone else. The boy then becomes more in depth with his thought and wonder if he was someone else, he could be taller, faster, smaller, or even smarter. The character then wonders if someone else was him, ...more
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Paige Britt is the author of THE LOST TRACK OF TIME, "an exuberant homage to the power of imagination and creative problem-solving" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). She is also the author of WHY AM I ME? illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. This beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

Paige g

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