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Why Am I Me?
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Why Am I Me?

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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  839 ratings  ·  219 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
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Scholastic Press (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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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
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Thorny
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
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Candace
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.
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.
Danielle
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.
Sarah Hannah
I love these illustrators, but this book is sappy and saccharine af.
Amy
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.
Cat
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!
Jana
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
Tracie
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
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Ann
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.
M'heeraw
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.
Kelly
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.
Gina
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.
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.
Jillian
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!
Kifflie
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.
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!
Stephanie
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!
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.
Kathleen
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.
KC
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Simple yet delightful explanation of why we are different.
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.
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
Ben Truong
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Why Am I Me? is a children's picture book written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. It is a children's story that postulate the question: Why Am I Me?

Britt's text is rather simple – if we can call it that. It's just repeating the same question titular question over and over again with side-questions to further elaborate the titular question. However, what really peeved me about this book that it didn't even took a chance to answer the titular question. The
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Cassandra Gelvin
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Why anything, really?

It doesn't seem to go anywhere. It kind of feels like it should be a song instead of a book. It's a poem, and not a very long one at that, that's just drawn out across all these pages that appear to be oil paintings of this little girl and little boy, apparent strangers to each other.

The girl is white. I guess the boy is black. And they look at each other and wonder what it would be like to be somebody else, and just talks about like how people are different in a very vague
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Taylor Manrique
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story does not have a particular main character, it focuses on the perspective of a young child who is wondering about the world around them. They look around see people of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, wondering why they are the way they are, and why the other people are the way they are. Instead of discriminating against or judging all the people they see, they just use their curiosity to wonder why everyone is different and unique. This book is perfect for all ages, especially ...more
Becky B
A child starts wondering what it would be like to be someone else and why they are the way they are.

There's that magical step in cognitive development when kids start to realize that the other people they come across actually don't just disappear when they aren't around them. That everyone has their own lives. And they begin to ponder some deeper questions. Good luck to the parents and teachers at this point because those questions start coming fast and furious and many of them have no easy
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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
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