In a world where we’re constantly looking for diverse books, look for Who Do You Think I Am? by Dawn McClaughlin, Illustrated by Hannah Rowe.
A child of a different color is drawn on every page. Not just white little girls and boys.
There is a constant repetition of I AM, telling even the oldest of readers that yes, it is just that easy to decide you are something you want to be. Even if that something is the sky.
The only things I did not enjoy about Who Do You Think I Am are fairly surface: the font and the quality of the images.
The font is very novelty and doesn’t give the book a professional feel which is an incredibly important for the adults who would be picking up the book.
The second qualm I have is easily remedied and explained. Hannah Rowe, the illustrator for Who Do You Think I Am? is a grand 19 years old. Dawn McLaughlin, author and owner of Positively Publishing Kids, is working with children (presumably of all ages) who want to get their art out their in the world of publishing. Many children today come from diverse backgrounds, leaving what they see of their chances at pursuing and achieving their dreams an impossible climb. Now here is Hannah Rowe, 19 and published.
My issue with the art is not that they are done in crayon or that they show Rowe’s inexperience, but that they show Rowe’s indentations from sketching on the pages above. I think Rowe is going to improve greatly, you can see it in the effort she took to color all of her images in crayon–a medium I’d like to remind everyone does not lend itself very well to making mistakes.
I definitely recommend you go pick up Who Do You Think I Am? and read it with your child.
UPDATE: I have been informed by the publisher that Hannah did the art with pastels and not crayons-my point remains, however, that it is not a medium which lends itself to mistakes.