Today’s recommendation is Whoever You Are, written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub.
When my daughter was young, we cycled through stacks of books from the library (really not that different from now, I guess). And she had her own bookshelf at home filled with picture books. Some of these my wife and I got (very) tired of reading. But a few were books I continued to love to read after the fifth and tenth and hundredth read. Whoever You are is a book I never tired of when my daughter was young, and it’s a book I still go back and read now that she’s older.
Mem Fox’s language is deceptively simple with a lyricism that makes the book a joy to read aloud. I especially appreciate the normalization of all aspects of life, the acknowledgement that all children all over the world experience the same joys and sorrows, laughter and pain, learning and love and friends and family. The illustrations show children from all over the world growing sharing common experiences and growing to adulthood where they have their own little ones who now experience those same sorrows and joys.
There are two books I have read to almost every class of students I have taught. The Giving Tree (Paul’s Picture Book Recommendations #9) and Whoever You Are have stood the test of time.
I recommend Whoever You Are for ages 3 through at least 2nd grade (those are your students, Deb Bost Bufton…you can borrow my copy if you don’t have one of your own). Regardless of your age or the age of your children, if you haven’t read Whoever You Are, get your hands on a copy.