Mem Fox - Whoever You Are

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This isn't just for children

Mar 21, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Reads like a lullaby with a very powerful and meaningful message.

Cons:none

The Bottom Line: A lyrical, and simple book with a powerful message. Whoever you are, wherever you are, all over this world, you must read this book!


I have three obsessions:my children, shopping, and books. If you were to visit my house you would find that the bookshelves in my kids rooms are overflowing with books. I admit that I am an addict. I can not walk by a bookstore without stopping in and purchasing at least one book to bring home(do they have AA meetings for this)? Luckily, my children love to hear the books that I buy, and are starting to read them on their own, so I guess this addiction is catching! One of our favorite authors is Mem Fox. We love to fall asleep to It's Time For Bed, and Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild is my sons favorite, but the one that stands out most is Whoever You Are.

Mem Fox and Leslie Staub, the illustrator, in just 32 pages are able to teach both young and old a very simple lesson that we all have trouble learning - acceptance. Mem Fox uses her rhythmic voice along with Leslie Staub's angelic pictures to show us who we truly are - one people. This lesson in diversity, culture, and community, all very serious issues, are simplified in harmonious prose.

The book firsts address the "little one", for that is how we all came into this world. It then explains to us that no matter how different our skin, homes, schools, land, or language are, inside our hearts are all the same. It further explains to us that our smiles, laughs, hurts, and cries are all the same. Next the book address the adult, "Little one, when you are older and when you are grown," we may all be different but we must always remember that...

Joys are the same,
and love is the same.
Pain is the same,
and blood is the same.
Smiles are the same,
and hearts are just the same-
wherever they are,
wherever you are,
wherever we are,
all over the world.

A simple lesson, yet for some reason as we grow from the innocent child that we start of as, something happens to us along the way. I can't help but wonder if more people read books like this to their children (and to themselves) if we would see the holocausts, wars, and violence that is so prevalent "all over the world". I applaud Mem Fox for this book, and would like her to know that my children thank her.

I should warn you that this is not an easy book to come by, I have only seen it in our local bookstore once. I happened to order a paperback version through my daughter's Scholastic Book Club (for $1!!), and if you are interested in finding this book (and I hope you are) the hardcover edition is available at http://www.amazon.com for $12.80.


Recommend this product? Yes

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