cover image My Self, Your Self

My Self, Your Self

Esmé Shapiro. Tundra, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77488-023-4

Shapiro envelops big ideas within this whimsically affirming exploration of individuality and selfhood. An anthropomorphic creature in brown boots and a “very special sprout hat” invokes the tone of a beloved elder, stating, “I have been with my self for a very long time.” As the protagonist encounters various forest beings, including a mushroom and a snail, it ponders “What is a self?” and asks if it’s “What we put on our toast? The way we button our coats?” The sprout then vocalizes appreciations about its pals ( “I like the way you bake cranberry-butter-pie muffins... and the way you always make enough to share”) before outlining what it likes about itself. The easy, conversational rhythm offers lots of opportunities for sharing, and the pen, watercolor, and digital art features intricately etched black-and-white backgrounds, with blips of red and earth-toned color throughout. A welcome, wandering contemplation of a book about being “OURSELVES together.” Ages 3–7. (Sept.)