Written as a guidebook, this picture book is at once cheeky and heartwarming, frank and encouraging, encompassing and specific. How can we have our best success at being human?
Filled with the joys of diversity in text and illustration, families and individuals are recognizably part of many races and types of families.
There are several Pro Tips set off as they would be in a guidebook:
Pro Tip: Kindness is always possible.
Pro Tip: A little empathy can produce BIG results.
The main text offers examples: “Another kid bump into you? Maybe they lost their glasses.”
The illustrations by André Ceolin are friendly and detailed. I admire the expressiveness of each and every face as even bystanders react to what’s happening on the page. The color palette is warm and bright, adding to the good feelings throughout the guidebook.
A fine read-aloud, I believe classrooms and library groups will have spirited discussions with the open door invitation that is A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human.
I don’t think I’m giving anything away, but the last page says, “So welcome to Humanity! We hope you enjoy your humanness. And we love that you’re here.” Everybody wants to have this book. It’s a meditation and a reason to smile and a reminder that we can be happy.
The Beginner’s Guide to Being Human
written by Matt Forrest Esenwine
illustrated by André Ceolin
Beaming Books, 2022