BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: I am Human: A Book of Empathy (available here)
Author: Susan Verde
Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
Publication Date: July 2018
Most Suitable For: Reception to Year 6!
Reviewed By: Suzanne Booth (@CreativeMrsB), Class Teacher
The recognisable line drawing illustrations of Peter Reynolds instantly hint that this cute little book, by Susan Verde, will be full of meaningful and powerful messages in line with previous successful titles like The Dot. Seeing as this partnership has already produced two other titles based on wellness aimed at children, I am Human doesn’t disappoint.
Beginning with realising what is possible as a human in this wide world, the book goes on to beautifully illustrate the difficulties we can also face as humans. In particular, the book conveys that it is ok to make mistakes, while cleverly demonstrating the power of good choices and the impact of empathy.
Each page features simple written statements that are accompanied by charming illustrations. These progress through the book following the main character, as he connects with other people, exemplifying themes of self-acceptance, compassion, belonging, believing in yourself to name just a few. These clear themes culminate to leave the reader with a strong sense of humanity, and the significant realisation that our world is made of millions of humans, just like each other, all of which are also making mistakes and learning from them.
This title fits perfectly in the classroom when thinking about instilling or re-enforcing a growth mind-set, as well as core values we hold as human beings. It could be used either as part of PSHE teaching, or in a stand-alone context at key times, such as the beginning of the school year. It is with this in mind, that although clearly aimed for children aged between 4-8, there would still be a place for some of the key ideas of this book to be used in UKS2 too, providing inspiration and reminding us all what is important in life.
PHSE – Belonging, all about me, growth mindset, anti-bullying
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Jane for reviewing it.