A & U Children’s, 2022
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
‘Where are you from?’ they say.
What they mean is,
‘Why is your skin that colour?’
‘Why does your hair look like that?’
I am from the mountains,
The seas and the sky.
I am from children of millions of years,
A timeline of humanity.
I am from this planet
And all others.
Being African-American-Greek-Australian with dark skin and curly hair, the author wrote this poem in response to a lifetime of being asked questions like, ‘where are you from?’ in an attempt to show, that, ultimately, we are all from the same place … “the primate who decided to walk upon two legs for the first time” and all those who have followed through time and generations.
Powerfully illustrated by another who has also experienced that constant questioning, this is a book to challenge the reader’s thinking to look beyond the immediate physical appearance that makes us unique and consider all that has gone before to make us the same. It is an opportunity for more mature readers to step beyond the multitude of stories that focus on who they are as individuals and the importance of being true to oneself, and look at a bigger philosophical picture of humanity as a whole with a shared heritage and history.