Why Am I Me?

by Paige Britt, Selina Alko, and Sean Qualls

“Why am I me … … and not you?” A philosophical picture book... read more

“Why am I me … … and not you?” A philosophical picture book poses questions that invite consideration of individual identity. What makes these big ideas accessible is the visual story, which attaches the questions to specific characters as it follows two children from the moment they are standing near each other on a large city subway platform through their journeys home. They sit across from each other on the subway (“Why are you, you … … and not me?”). On the ride, each looks out the window. The African American boy wonders who he would be if he were someone else. Would I be “taller, … smaller, smarter?” The light-skinned girl wonders, what if someone else were her. Would they be “lighter, … darker, bolder?” A narrative that invites children on a journey of self-reflection, self-perception, and consideration of others is both lifted up and solidly grounded by the energetic acrylic, colored pencil, and collage illustrations showing the two children as part of a diverse and vibrant city, and in solitary moments of reflection. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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