Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, illustrated by Leslie Staub

Rating: 5 stars

This book should be given to any former Peace Corps Volunteer when they have a child.  If you are a former Peace Corps Volunteer, just go ahead and buy it.  You'll love it.  My good friend and fellow booklover Beth gave me the board book version when Ben was a baby--and I've read it at least a few times a week since then.

Here's a little snippet from the well-worn pages:
Little one, whoever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world.
Their smiles are like yours, and they laugh just like you.
Their hurts are like yours, and they cry like you, too.
Whoever they are, wherever they are,
All over the world.
The illustrations are, on the one hand, great--most pages features bright, happy international faces with different landscapes in the background that'd make a Peace Corps Volunteer's heart ache a little for their days spent abroad.  You might have to pull out the ol' scrapbooks.  On the other hand, there is this really strange rastafarian dude who shows up with a gaggle of kids on each spread of pages.  Check him out on the cover.  He's usually flying, with the kids attached to his blue suit.  I totally don't get it.

The poem is soothing and quiet and calming, making it a great bedtime/naptime book.  It's just the right length--a little long if you've got an impatient tyke on your lap that thinks flipping the pages really fast is really fun--but nice once a bit of patience kicks in.

And the message?  That love is the same, and joy is the same for everyone, whoever we are, wherever we are, all over the world.


  1. I love Mem Fox. I don't think she uses the same illustrator twice, but her writing is beautiful in this book!

  2. What a great book and great message. I really love it. For some reason I really love reading books that rhyme so much more. You get into that rhythm and it just goes. Making kids feel loved is maybe one of the best reasons to read to them and this book really helps, leads to great discussions!

  3. I love this book! I have it in English for G and I used it in Spanish with my kiddos when I did play therapy. I agree, a must read for all parents and children!