Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of


written by Annie Barrows

illustrated by Leo Espinosa


written by Annie Barrows
illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Review posted November 20, 2022.
Chronicle Books, 2022. 40 pages.
Review written November 10, 2022, from a library book
Starred Review
2022 Sonderbooks Standout:
#2 General Picture Books

This picture book delighted me so much, I immediately found someone in the office to show it to. (This isn't as easy as when I worked in a branch with other youth services staff, but it can still be done.) The book is bright and colorful, surprising and funny, and it has a great message.

Here's how the book begins:


You are you, and I am I. We are people.
Also known as humans. This makes us
different from most of the things on Earth.

For instance, tin cans.

We are not at all like tin cans.
We are not shaped like tin cans.
We cannot hold tomato sauce like tin cans.

If you open up our lids, nothing good happens.

We are not at all like tin cans.

The kid-narrator goes on to compare us with a swimming pool. We are a little more like a swimming pool, since we have water and chemicals and dirt inside us. But there are some big differences.

The book goes on to compare the reader with a mushroom, an excavator, and a hyena.

There are a lot of ways we are like hyenas, and those are listed in fun ways. But I like the page that talks about how we are different from hyenas:

They don't know when their birthday is,
and if you invited a hyena over to your house next Thursday, it wouldn't come.
Hyenas don't make plans.

Which is fine, because if a hyena did come to your house, it might try to eat your baby brother.

So we are like hyenas in some ways,
but if you were a hyena,
you wouldn't be like you are now.
And I would run away if I saw you.

But the rest of the book talks about how much humans are alike. We're not exactly alike, but we're much more alike than other things on earth.

Even if I eat raspberry Jell-O with bananas in it,
and you would never ever eat that in a million years,
I am more like you than a mushroom.

Even if you speak a language I don't speak
you are more like me than a hyena.

And the book winds up by pointing out lots of people of different ages and shapes and looks and points out that we are all very much alike.

I am more like you than I am like most of the things on Earth.

I'm glad.

I'd rather be like you than like a mushroom.

An utterly wonderful book.