The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Random House), 2018
$24.99 (hc), 30 pp, ages 5 – 13
We are all different from others in many ways, and sometimes these differences can make us feel like outsiders. In this creatively illustrated book, Woodson delicately highlights the ways in which“no one is quite like you,” yet if you find your voice and share about yourself, suddenly others will realize how similar you actually are. Equally, this book helps readers understand that it’s important to recognize similarities and welcome differences. Differences highlighted include appearances, languages, meal preferences, pastimes, trips and travel, economics, family structures, physical abilities and skills, as well as ways of welcoming. Every child will benefit from hearing this story and transforming their own thinking by considering how they personally feel and how they make others feel when there’s no room for difference, and how to “open… wider to make some space.”
Classroom Connections: This beautiful book is great for teaching community building and would be a wonderful springboard into a discussion about differences and inclusion. Reading Comprehension Strategies: Making Connections, Inferring, Transforming.
Review by Amanda Forbes.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Winter 2020 issue.