Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ages: 5 – 8 years

I often felt like an outsider at school…. I felt like I was standing on the outside looking in.

I was looking in at the kids who had nicer houses, hair that didn’t knot up like mine and knees that weren’t covered in scabs from afternoons playing in the bush. 

My nose was so squashed up against the invisible window looking in, that I didn’t realize these things don’t matter.

It’s our differences that make us interesting and unique, if only we could be brave enough to let others see them.

The Day You Begin is a beautifully illustrated story for children about being brave and letting others get to know you, even if you feel like an outsider!

The important message in this book is just as important for older kids and adults too!

 ‘’There will be times when you walk into a room and no on there is quite like you.’’

The narrative is told directly to the reader, so the child reading the book, or having it read to them, feels the words are being spoken to them directly.

The author describes times that you might feel like an outsider. Whether it’s the curl of your hair or when no one understands the way the words curl from your mouth. 

When your classmates have all gone on holiday over the summer to far-flung destinations, but you only remember looking after your sister in the heat of the city. You remember the books you kept reading long after your sister fell asleep.

She points out there will be times when your lunch is different and when no one picks you for their team.

‘’There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you until the day you begin to share your stories.’’

‘’My name is Angelina and I spent the whole summer with my little sister,’’ you tell the class.

‘’Your name is like my sister’s,’’ Rigoberto says. ‘’Her name is Angelina, too.’’

All at once, the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you!

The author says, ‘’This is the day you begin.’’ She points out that every new friend will have something like you, and something else not quite like you.

Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books.  Among many accolades, she is a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award Winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. 

Illustrator Rafael Lopez has done an amazing job in this picture book, celebrating diversity on nearly every page.

In a book about resilience and being brave, The Day You Begin is a beautiful story for children about opening up and finding the courage to connect, even though you feel like an outsider.

A #1 New York Times Best Seller!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here