This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-26 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 48 user ratings

" Not my favorite Jamie Lee Curtis book but it was good. It got the kids talking about what they would take with them if they only had one box to take with them somewhere. Also about the different places their families come from, whether it was in their lifetime or before the United States existed, it was a fascinating conversation. It help bring them together and find their commonalties as well as their differences. Something it is always good to remember even as adults. " said.

"In rhythm and rhyme, Jamie Lee Curtis explains how families just like yours came to the United States. Many people came over as immigrants a long time ago on boat. She asks kids to imagine what it was like and teaches them to relate, "How would you know/in this case what to pack/and that once you had left/there'd be no coming back?" A diverse group of kids explains what they would take and what's important to them. Curtis explains that ancestors' stories are part of you. She asks readers what they would they would bring "to show the world who YOU are". This a timely book, especially in light of current news stories about refugees. This book could either pair with a discussion about refugees or even just in getting children to relate to stories of immigrant ancestors.
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" Most of us in America come from somewhere else and this book does a great job helping children to understand that. In the back of the book there's a pop up suitcase. It made me wonder what I would take to a new country if all I could take was what fit in a suitcase. This certainly is a book that can get kids thinking. " said.

"This book is about a teacher and her classroom of children talking about where her ancestors came from. She said that her great-grandmother came from a distant place and had to pack all of her favorite belongings into a small suitcase. She asked the children what they would put in her suitcase if they were in the same situation. We then look at all of the children working hard to decide what to bring with them.

I loved this book for many reasons:

This topic subtly addresses sexism. It portrays both girls and boys with many different interests. In one child’s toys you can see a lot of barbie dolls, but they show women dressed up in male-dominated careers. It also discusses immigration, different cultures and ethnicities.

I would say that this book does an excellent job at remaining anti-bias. There are so many children portrayed here, not only depicting different races and cultures, but a wide array of interests that any child would have, despite their race or ethnicity. For instance, Luke who appears to be Asian chooses his karate gi to put in his suitcase, but he also chooses a jersey, some goofy Groucho Marx glasses, and a Weird Al CD.

The author and illustrator realize that there are so many different things that a child can find important, even something that isn’t theirs. One child chooses her aunt’s high school class ring and her dad’s Navy pin. That shows that she values what her family values. One of the girls is obsessed with Katy Perry so the illustrations show that interest in her bedroom, with a dog named Katy sleeping by the window.

The girl who wants to bring her barbies, they are all shown with a variety of skin colors, doing many different things. There’s a gymnast, rock star, astronaut, surgeon, mime, gypsy, singer, miner, flight attendant, and so many more. There is even a Ken doll driving the pink car. It is clear that they made a point to show that the women can be in every career.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. In fact, I bought a copy of the book and am planning on reading it to my kids. I love that at the end there shows a popup suitcase with the prompt, ‘what would you take?’ This is not only an excellent book, it is an excellent activity to get children in a classroom involved with. They would have so much fun trying to measure their belongings to see if they fit. The main reason I would recommend this book is because every child can identify with at least one person in this story. There is even a little girl with a head retainer, and she looks legitimately happy. This book includes an accurate portrayal of culture, and I didn’t notice any real stereotypes. I can actually imagine these children as real people, talking excitedly about their favorite things that they would bring with them. I love how it also shows sibling dynamics. With one of the girls you can see her taping ‘yes’ and ‘no’ signs on things she either wanted to bring or leave behind. She put ‘no’ on her siblings, one of which had five ‘no’ signs. In Roberto’s segment he is walking with his family and one of the siblings looks unenthusiastic at being out with the family. It shows that there are different family dynamics, not all of them being positive, but it is okay because all of these children can still find happiness. I just picked this book off of the shelf, and I was extremely happy with my choice.
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" Cute, as others have said, teachable, not great for storytimes, nor for public collections-we had to carefully cut out and glue in the suitcase. " said.

" I will be using this book as a precursor to the Keene International Festival. Refugees, Immigrants, Acceptance " said.

" Woods adored this book and asked for it every night. I wasn't as crazy about it, but dutifully read it. I wish I knew what he loved most about it. If you ask him, he would probably say the box at the end. I enjoyed the diversity present in the children represented (yay!) and the choices each one made for their suitcase. A lovely and thought provoking story for all ages. " said.

" This was a nice book for starting conversations about family history or immigrant experiences. I love the detailed illustrations that make each character's home reflect their personality and family heritage in clear, distinct ways. I particularly liked the coffee table book title "Encyclopedia of Wood Swatches" in one child's home. " said.

December 2017 New Book:

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