Reviews /

Who Are You?

Authored by Smriti Halls
Illustrated by Ali Pye
Published by HarperCollins Publishers

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Who Are You? is a joyful, inclusive picture book about families, heritage and identity.

This book has many special qualities. It celebrates diversity, culture and the things that make every child special, for example, their faces, hair, clothing, games they like to play, their family (in whatever form that may come) and their ancestors. It encourages children to think about the things they love about themselves and to be proud of who they are. It is so important to have books like this in the classroom to help children identify with what makes them unique and to make sense of how they fit into the world.

This is a perfect book to read aloud. The second person narrative speaks directly to children – asking questions which can be explored as part of a whole class or group discussion. The rhythmic, poetic text and the vibrant illustrations will bring as much scope for discussion as the questions. For example, like the front cover, some illustrations are inside puzzle pieces and shapes, reinforcing how we are all individuals but can work equally well together. There are also spreads where children can search the pictures for games, clothes and activities that they like.

I would include Who Are You? in class libraries for Nursery, Reception and KS1. There is much for children to learn from the pictures alone but if it’s being used as a teaching tool it is a great way to introduce empathy and an understanding of others.