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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Life is full of possibilities and what-ifs. You can be anything you want to be if only you believe in yourself. You can be an astronaut or a chef, a writer or a judge, or even a scientist. You might be different in how you look, in how you dress, even in abilities (or disabilities), but deep down, we’re all the same. We have a purpose. We were all meant to be here and there is a reason why we are here. But first, we must grow and learn and dream big, while working with others, caring for others, and accepting others. In our unique qualities lie our strengths and our power to make this world a better, more inclusive place to live.
Naomi V. Dunsen-White’s picture book story, Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose, is a compassionate look at purpose and how we all fit into the grand scheme of this thing we call life. The concepts are presented in rhyming verse with a lyricism that will catch the attention of young readers. The author presents many possible careers a young person might aspire to and work toward, as well as what roads they might take and what roadblocks they might face. Life is a grand adventure, but the most important thing we all must remember is that we’re in this together and we must accept each other in spite, or because of, our differences. “We all have our dreams and a right to belong./ We stand together, united and strong.” These are powerful words to live up to. The author finishes the book with an interactive exercise, challenging young readers to think more deeply about the concepts they learned in the story. I love the illustrations – beautiful!