A Child Like You is the beautiful result of a collaboration between well-known, diverse fiction author Na’ima B. Robert and award-winning illustrator Nadine Kaadan, whose focus is spreading the joy of reading in the Arab world. A Child Like You is a work of illustrated biography, suitable for children ages 5+, detailing the lives of four activists – Greta Thunberg, Yusra Mardini, Marley Dias and Iqbal Masih.
The author offers the repetitive phrase, ‘Somewhere, out there, in the wide, wide world, a child like you is…’ This engages the reader, offers a sense of structure and allows the reader to seamlessly shift between the lives of the women featured, detailing how they have been brave, standing up for their own and others’ rights in our world. This would be a wonderful book to stimulate discussion of these powerful figures in our living history and also to discuss what differences we can make every day to contribute to society as a whole.
I particularly enjoyed the inviting double-page spreads created by Kaadan, feeling as if the characters were dynamic, moving across the page as each reveals their story. Robert provides useful information in the final pages of the book, detailing more about each of the four women depicted. This could be a good starting point for readers as it provides useful contextual information to support with depth of understanding. After reading the book and then the descriptions of each women offered at the end, I then went back and re-read from a different perspective – a good lesson on how our reading behaviours can be adapted to suit our choice of reading material. A Child Like You is an ardent, yet authoritative work that can help young children to think about their role in shaping the world around them.
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