By Laura Ennis, BK Story Voyager Librarian
Why Am I Me?
By Paige Britt. Sean Qualls, and Selina Alko
(for readers ages 4-8)
“Why Am I Me?” is a beautifully illustrated story that celebrates humanity and diversity. Two strangers are on a walk home at the end of the day, wondering why people are not all the same. As they continue on their journey of questioning, they discover the meaning of compassion.
Husband and wife illustrators, Sean Qualls and Selina Alko, have developed vivid illustrations that connect beautifully to Paige Britt’s words. Although the language is simple, Qualls and Alko have created a world that shows the diversity, humanity, and universality of the two children’s worlds. The pictures depict the reality of the rich multiculturalism within New York City. “Why Am I Me?” shows the power of love, and provides us with a deeper understanding of empathy.
I am a big fan of both Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. In March 2017, I reviewed a new favorite of mine, “Emmanuel’s Dream,” about disability activist, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, illustrated by Sean Qualls. Selina Alko is known for one of the first books she illustrated, “My Subway Ride,” and her own book “B is for Brooklyn.” Together they wrote “The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage. ” The power of their collaborative style is reflected within all of their works. I highly recommend any book they write or illustrate as they have a wonderful way of portraying the modern world.