I knew I Am Human - a Book of Empathy by Susan Verdi and Peter H Reynolds would be beautiful, heart tugging, and filled with guidance. The book begins with affirmations. Affirmations are empowering; helping our mindset and mental wellness. The book shifts to helping the reader understand that being human involves making mistakes, hurting others, and being hurt ourselves. The authors give the opportunity for readers to think about three emotions; fear, timid, and sadness. I believe the illustrations will guide students to think about their own emotions of fear, timid, and sadness. It's important we help children and adults navigate different emotions and realize emotions don't always last. The reader is then presented with ideas for moving forward with examples of choices one can make to turn their feelings around. The story ends with the best guidance of all; we are not alone and ways we are all connected.
As I finished reading this book yesterday in class, I was reminded how important repeated readings are for increased understanding and thinking. A student asked me what empathy means when we finished reading the story. I tried to explain it as the bell rang to end our day. I spent time rereading the book and finding places where we can discuss and describe empathy tomorrow and on future revisits.