Today I Read…Who Am I?

Who am IToday I read Who Am I? by Gervase Phinn, with illustrations by Tony Ross.

One day a strange little creature in born in the jungle, but he doesn’t know what he is! Come with the strange little creature as he explores the jungle and meets new creatures and asks them “Who Am I?”

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I could talk about the chameleon’s existential crisis and lack of externally-imposed identity, and possibly the parental negligence that led to him being born alone and without any support system, but I’d rather talk about the lovely and simple illustrations. The chameleon meets all of the larger animals, who all know their own names and what is special  about them, and changes colour every time to match the other animals. This gives a hint to adult readers that they can point out when reading the book to a child. The chameleon is usually in a corner on the page with the text, while the adult animal takes up most of their own page opposite. The text has a lot of repetition and sometimes the words change size or become more prominent on the page, which can be pointed out to a child. The vocabulary includes some easy words that learning readers will be able to recognize, but also a few longer and more difficult words such as chirpily, anxiously, or desperately, that the learning reader will need help with. This is a good book for preschoolers, with a simple clear story, large illustrations, an introduction to certain animals and their qualities, and a moderate vocabulary with some repetition of phrases. And of course, a happy ending when the strange little creature finds out who he is.

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