The dynamic duo behind the bestselling picture book A Family Is a Family Is a Family – Sara O’Leary and Qin Leng – returns with the utterly delightful companion, A Kid Is a Kid Is a Kid, which explores the absurd, illogical, and at times insensitive questions children get asked.
“Being the new kid is hard,” reads the opening line. “I can think of better things to ask than if I’m a boy or a girl.” Another child at the school playground comes along adding, “I get asked why I always have my nose in a book.” Her matter-of-fact response: “Books are my life!” One child after another – each with a different background and interest – chimes in with the questions they’re always asked and the questions they’d rather be asked. Soon the playground is bustling with a refreshingly diverse group of children bonding over the experience of being misunderstood or underestimated.
Ranging from gender discrimination to racism, O’Leary deftly points out the ignorance and narrow-mindedness that children are confronted with. As each child takes centre stage and adds their voice to the ever-growing chorus of questions, O’Leary acknowledges and amplifies their uniqueness while also encouraging adults to see children in a new light.
Toronto illustrator Leng’s beautiful full-page watercolour artwork exquisitely captures the emotional impact the questions have on the children, ranging from the silly – a boy showing off his favourite T-shirt with exuberance – to the poignant – a girl visiting her newborn sister in the hospital. By giving each character their own spread, her illustrations, which burst with every colour of the rainbow, celebrate what each child holds most dear.
A Kid Is a Kid Is a Kid is not only a fantastic companion to its highly acclaimed predecessor but also a stand-alone book that reminds us kids have more to share, if only we asked better questions.