Monday, January 8, 2018

Being philosophical

Nothing like starting off the new year with some of the big questions in life.

 In Why Am I Here? by Constance Orbeck-Nilssen and Akin Duzakin, introduces us to a very thoughtful child (might be a boy or a girl), who wonders about some of these kinds of questions:

Why am I here?
Why am I in this place?
What if I was in a different place? Would I be different, too?
What if I lived in a city? Or a city with a war going on? 
Or live in the desert?  Or a place with ocean and melting icebergs?
What if I had to move?

After pondering these and many other deep questions, he or she ends up deciding,
                Why am I me, and not someone else?
                And why am I here?
                Maybe that’s how it is –
                I am my own house.
                And I will be at home
                Wherever I am.

The illustrations are perfectly suited for this introspective book that induces a kind of calm while thinking about topics that might be scary such as living in a place where there is conflict. There is a softness in the rendering with a muted palette of colours encouraging quiet contemplation.

Besides being a discussion starter for general conversations about life, our place in the world and our purpose, there are curriculum connections to be found in social studies and language arts. Also, a book that could be a way to approach learning about empathy, too.

Great book to pair with a Stormy Night by Michele Lemieux that also poses questions that can keep one up at night. 

 Recommended for grades 1 to 6.


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