My Self, Your Self
In a woodland, a little troop of creatures play, bake and talk about what it means to be an individual. They ask big questions about what is inside of us, or outside of us, and what makes my ‘self’ different to your ‘self.’ Thus begins a little philosophical exploration of our understanding of our own identities.
Shapiro draws a story where a leafling narrator appreciates the special things about their friends, from singing bath time songs in giant bubbly blossoms to painting in different styles. By noticing others, the leafling protagonist learns to better understand themselves because of their similarities and differences with others – both of which are okay. By seeing when someone is scared, or by being grateful when somebody notices you are scared, the leafling learns to care for their friends and appreciate our friends when they care for them.
Shapiro's black linework and accented pastel details are especially effective in the scenes when the main character is on their own, highlighting that our individuality forever travels with us. Folk in toadstool caps and leafy heads sit, swing and stroll with snails and flower friends in a forest setting – showing a connection to their world that is innate in all of us.
A wonderfully gentle book that celebrates what makes us truly unique.