Review of ‘Who Am I’
Author: Philip Bunting
Illustrator: Philip Bunting
Age Range: lower primary, middle primary, upper primary
Themes: Identity, philosophy
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Welcome to the Children’s Books Daily review team Clare Mellor! You can read more about Clare in her bio below this review, but in a nutshell I met Clare many, many moons ago in *library world* and, like me, she lives and breathes all things library and literature. Clare is a talented librarian, avid reader and insightful reviewer and I am overjoyed to have her on board!
‘Who am I’
We are all from the same place, and made of the same stuff, but we each see ourselves as individuals. Who Am I? is an introspective exploration of that idea – a dive through the multitudes that comprise every one of us – to ask who we really are, once all of the external stuff is stripped away.
I am a HUGE fan of Philip Bunting’s books. I love his illustrations, his writing style, and his ability to tackle the BIG topics. A Philip Bunting book is warm, cheeky and engaging. It will often include messages of empathy and care for the environment, delivered with a wry sense of humour. Bunting’s books are for parents who are sick-of-reading-the-same-book-over-and-over and inquisitive children who are eager learn and expand their minds.
‘Who Am I’? tackles the age-old question that plagues children and adults alike … WHO AM I? This is undoubtedly a deep topic, (particularly for children!) but Bunting tackles it gently and with good humour. He takes us through the elements of what makes a person a person; our name, our place, our stuff, our gender and so forth. We ultimately discover that it is the combination of these things make us who we are and that people are all essentially the same. We all have our dreams, feelings and fears, but you are still YOU. You are your truest self and the it is way you see the world, your thoughts and your feelings that make you who you are.
The illustrations throughout are very “Philip Bunting”. They are vibrant and clever, with lots of details that little ones will love to discuss. I particularly enjoyed the page that featured organs with cheeky eyeballs! I love the playful details that have been included to make both children and adults chuckle.
This book was an absolute delight to read. As I was reading, I felt like I was getting a nice warm hug. I may be one of billions of people on the Earth, but I matter. Humans are such incredible creatures with depth and beauty. We are complicated beings from both physical and psychological perspectives. As with the other Philip Bunting books I’ve enjoyed, I know that this is a book that I will relish revisiting in the future.
By the same author:
‘Kookaburras Love to Laugh’
‘Koalas Eat Gum Leaves’
‘Another Book About Bears’
‘The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants’
‘Your Planet Needs You’
‘How Did I Get Here’
Clare Mellor is a qualified librarian, a bookseller and now a full-time mum. She has a passion for picture books and growing her young son’s home library. She also adores middle grade fiction and has a particular soft spot for young adult fiction. When she isn’t thinking about books, she is happily matching her brooches with her favourite earrings! Clare’s bookstagram is @claremreads