Whoever you are

Mem Fox, 1946-

Book - 1997

Despite the differences between people around the world, there are similarities that join us together, such as pain, joy, and love.

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Series
Reading Rainbow review book
Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
San Diego : Harcourt Brace c1997.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 28 cm
ISBN
9780152007874
0152007873
Main Author
Mem Fox, 1946- (-)
Other Authors
Leslie Staub, 1957- (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ages 5^-8. A lyrical text counsels children, "Little one, whoever you are, wherever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world." Despite differences, the hearts, smiles, and tears of these other children are "just like yours." On the first page, the vibrant oil-on-gessoed-paper illustrations portray four children with different skin, eye, and hair colors but with remarkably similar facial structure. Accompanied by an adult, this group appears in miniature on almost every spread, floating through the air as they view people in a variety of traditional, almost stereotypical settings. On the last double-page spread, the children are reunited with their mothers, who, even as adults, have a resemblance that reminds readers that grown-ups, too, are the same in their humanity. First-time illustrator Staub fills the interestingly bordered pictures with images that have plenty of child appeal, and Fox's paen to diversity will make this especially suitable for classrooms. ((Reviewed October 1, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

With a gentle and knowing calm, Fox (Time for Bed) provides a compelling exploration of the differences between children that make them unique as well as the common humanity that unites them. In Fox's picture book, divisions of culture, race and geography fall away in light of a global community where smiles, laughter and tears are universally understood. The simple, rhythmic text, written in the second person, is designed to involve the reader directly: "Their lives may be different from yours,/ and their words may be very different from yours./ But inside, their hearts are just like yours." Staub, a fine artist making her picture-book debut, renders multicultural subjects with broad, flat, friendly faces. Each stylized portrait of people from various countries at play, work or school is bordered by a hand-carved frame decorated with metallic paint and plastic jewels that may give readers the feeling of viewing postcards or pages in an album. Children get a taste of the pace of life in other places, with Asian children carrying produce to market or children in India studying in an outdoor classroom. Readers will also enjoy spotting an angel-cowboy figure, bedecked in a cloud-covered suit and hat, who accompanies children on each page of this poignant world tour. Ages 3-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Raschka translates the Shaker musical paean to a simplified life into a sort of peaceable kingdom where various animals dwell together in harmony with nature," said PW. "He creates an exceedingly handsome stained glass effect with heavy black lines juxtaposed against hues as warm as a flurry of autumn leaves." Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Fox has composed a simple refrain to celebrate human connections in this lovely picture book. "Little one, whoever you are," she explains, there are children all over the world who may look different, live in different homes and different climates, go to different schools, and speak in different tongues but all children love, smile, laugh, and cry. Their joys, pain, and blood are the same, "whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world." Staub's oil paintings complement the simple text. She uses bright matte colors for the landscapes and portraits, placing them in gold borders, set with jewels and molded from plaster and wood. These frames enclose the single- and double-page images and echo the rhythm of the written phrases. Within the covers of the book, the artist has created an art gallery that represents in color, shape, and texture, the full range of human experience. Barbara Kiefer, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Despite the differences between people around the world, there are similarities that join us together, such as pain, joy, and love.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Aims to teach tolerance by showing how, across the earth, across cultures and generations, whether children are crying, laughing, or playing, they are all alike inside although they may appear very different on the outside.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Enjoy this picture book celebration of diverse childhoods, and the essential things that make us all the same."A compelling exploration of the differences between children that make them unique as well as the common humanity that unites them." (Publishers Weekly)Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different from each other. But inside, they are all alike.Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations and remind children to accept differences, to recognize similarities, and—most importantly—to rejoice in both.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different. But inside, they are all alike. Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations. At a time when, unfortunately, the lessons of tolerance still need to be learned, Whoever You Are urges us to accept our differences, to recognize our similarities, and-most importantly-to rejoice in both.