I Am Someone Else: Poems about Pretending

I Am Someone Else: Poems about Pretending

  • 1699

Coming July 2, 2019. Preorder now!

Collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins / Illustrated by Chris Hsu

Who do you want to be?

Celebrated poet Lee Bennett Hopkins assembles fourteen of his fellow poets to wax lyrical about pretending to be someone else. Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry imagines what it would be like to be a giant's wife in her first published poem. J. Patrick Lewis pretends he is the wizard of P.S. 82. Michelle Heidenreich Barnes becomes a veterinarian, helping animals feel better. Each poem explores imagination, creativity, ambition, and desire - be they fanciful or real-world goals - giving young readers permission to play. Chris Hsu's cute, quirky illustrations introduce a diverse cast of characters and their wild and wonderful imaginations. 

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Lee Bennett Hopkins, collector

Lee Bennett Hopkins is the author of dozens of award-winning books for children, including poetry collections and stories such as Amazing Faces and Full Moon and Stars. He is a former teacher and educational consultant. He has established two poetry awards that bear his name. Lee lives in Cape Coral, Florida. 

Chris Hsu, illustrator

Chris Hsu is a classically-trained and versatile artist who has worked in greeting-card illustration, advertising, and animation. He is the illustrator of The Boo-Boos That Changed the World. Chris is currently a background artist on the animated FX spy comedy Archer. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Awards & Honors:

Coming Soon!

Editorial Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews

"Imagine! Wish! Support! Invent!"Hopkins organizes this brief, thematic anthology into three sections under the larger umbrella of imagining: "Wish! Be a Storybook Character"; "Support! Be a Person Who Helps"; and "Invent! Be a Person Who's a Maker." Each of the collected poems is written in the first-person, and Hsu's energetic, cartoon-style digital illustrations depict the diverse children as the individual speakers. Words and pictures alike often upend stereotypes and gender norms. For example, a poem about pretending to be a mermaid by Janet Clare Fagal depicts a brown-skinned child with tight, close-cropped curls wearing a green, striped T-shirt as the voice of the poem, allowing children of varying gender identifications to see themselves. Hopkins' introductory statement affirms that "There is nothing better than being yourself," which doesn't undermine the title in the least since he goes on to affirm the fun in pretend play. Sometimes such play is aspirational, and the poems included in the categories "Support!" and "Invent" by authors such as Douglas Florian, Prince Redcloud, and Joan Bransfield Graham (with the standout offering "Nurse: Healing Hand") give voice to career ambitions. Others, such as the aforementioned "A Mermaid's Tale" poem, and Lois Lowry's "Big Problems" (about the challenges of being a giant's wife) offer up more fanciful imaginings.A good collection, for real.


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ISBN: 978-1-58089-832-4

ISBN: 978-1-63289-717-6 EPUB

ISBN: 978-1-63289-718-3 PDF

For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 4-8
Page count: 32
9 x 9

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