Photo of Why Am I Me?

Why Am I Me?

By Paige Britt, Illustrated by Sean Qualls, Selina Alko
Categories: Picture Book
Power of Story: Racialized Identities
Ebook  Hardcover  
ISBN: 9781338053142 Pages: 40 Ages: 4-8 Dimensions: 10.250" x 10.250"
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About this book

Presented as a thoughtful, 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 ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

If the first step toward healing the world is to build bridges of empathy and celebrate rather than discriminate, Why Am I Me? helps foster a much-needed sense of connection, compassion, and love.


Words by Paige Britt, Pictures by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

"The beautifully textured artwork… adroitly captures the mood and feel of a city in which diversity among people is such a natural occurrence, it doesn't need to be called out – it simply is." -- New York Times Book Review

"Why Am I Me? invites very young listeners to consider something both astonishing and elegantly simple." -- The Washington Post

* "A mindful, captivating ode to wonder and a must for any story- or bedtime repertoire." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “Universal questions combine with richly layered, captivating compositions, presenting opportunities for careful examination and stimulating conversations.” -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "[A] benevolent, multicultural landscape depicted in lushly textured, jewel-toned collage and paint." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "The interplay of art and text will invite the book's audience to grapple with themes of individuality, diversity, universality, and what it means to be human." -- The Horn Book, starred review
* "Author Paige Britt alchemizes…big questions, encouraging soul-searching dialogues with oneself and others…and artists Sean Qualls and Selina Alko… brilliantly [remind] readers how stories can be found behind every window, every door, every wall." -- Shelf Awareness, starred review

"The richly saturated full-bleed illustrations... are as aesthetically vibrant and colorful as they are mulitcultural, featuring diversity across race, religion, ability, and gender." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, recommended

"An ordinary trip home becomes a journey in wonder and compassion."
Sophie Blackall, Caldecott Medalist

"[A] perfect blend of words and images… took my breath away."
Tomie DePaola, Caldecott Medalist

"I love the vibrancy of the illustrations."
Javaka Steptoe, Caldecott Medalist

"Selina and Sean's paintings bring this love story gloriously to the page… I felt like I had been dropped right into the center of everything. Loved it! "
Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honoree and National Book Award Winner

"Gentle illustrations that capture a timely theme: the value of empathy."
Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic for The New Yorker

Grace Lin, Newbery Honoree

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