*Disclaimer: I received the book for free in exchange for an honest review.*
“You Are Different is based off an inspirational poem turned into an easy read children’s picture book. The demographic is children 3-5 years old. The page count is 44. The poem tackles the five senses through an African American lens, all while celebrating the differences which make you, YOU! The book is relatable to all ethnicities, we all have things which make us different, however instead of hiding it, this book tells you to embrace it.”
Theme repetition is very important in this book. “You are different” is a steady and noteworthy mantra. I have been having a lot of conversation in recent weeks about the need for society to unplug every now and then, especially the youth. Go online now and see how many profile pictures, bio’s, and statuses look eerily similar. There is no value placed on being different. Everyone looks and sounds the same. Anyone who doesn’t fall in line with the greater population is given a negative label. Now this isn’t a new phenomenon, but I think it’s amplified in this digital era we’re in.
My hope is that more public figures will start to speak up and be the voice of the “weirdos”. I want more parents to encourage their children to be different. Let me tell you guys, my 9 year old insists on dressing herself. She has been since about 5. Her wardrobe choices were a little…different. I am every bit of a helicopter mom, so it is often times challenging for me to release control and allow her room for creative expression. As long as everything is neat and clean I try to stay back. My husband was the main catalyst for this change in behavior. He would often say “Let her wear what she wants because she should be judged by what’s inside and not by what’s outside. Let her figure out her style.” I appreciate authors like Davon Clark, creating books that celebrate and even explore differences.
Reading the Book
*I will give the reader a small disclaimer. The book does mention gender neutral bathrooms so if this not a topic you are ready to discuss or agree with, edit that section out of your reading session.* The book itself proudly displays a beautiful brown child on the front cover. I typically love books that have cute kids on the cover! The artwork is extremely colorful and the scenes do a wonderful job of reinforcing the message of being different. I think it’s important to prepare kids for the world and let them know that there are things about you people won’t like. There are people who will hate you simply because of your red hair, or some other obscure feature. The answer is not to conform, but to embrace those differences and let it drive you to success. The message in this book is great and powerful, and I’m hoping our kids will have more champions in their corner encouraging them them to stand out from crowd.