Children who live in very rural areas often have a difficult time wrapping their mind around the fact that there are people all over the world who look different, speak differently, and who enjoy different things. To children who are very young, the whole of the world is everybody and everyone who they come into contact with, and that is it. Well known author of childrens books, Mem Fox, decided to help children to understand a little bit more about the world around them with the story of Whoever You Are.
As with many other of Mem Fox’s stories, this story also has a gentle rhyme scheme that is engaging, even to younger children. The repetition of the phrase “whoever they are, wherever they are” is comforting to young children and keeps them interested in the story and wanting to read further on, and because repetition is one of the most frequently used methods in teaching children to read, this is one tale that will actually help children to learn how to read a bit, especially if they read it as they get older.
You Are is all about helping children, from kindergarten to grade three, to learn that there are different types of children all over the world who live in different climates, go to different schools, and who speak in different languages. But the simple fact is that children in all different places are all basically the same. They all laugh, they all smile, they all love, and they all cry. IT helps children to understand that it doesn’t matter what a person likes or where they live, that we all experience the same types of emotions and all are, down deep, very much alike.
The tale of Whoever You Are is made even more beautiful thanks to Leslie Staub’s oil paintings, which were created with a bright array of colors for portraits and landscapes, and which are simply beautiful to look at even when you’re not reading the amazing text written by Fox. This book is an excellent one to teach children all about the world around them and how we’re all the same.