The Day You Begin opens with a gentle acknowledgement:
There will be times when you walk into a room and no one is quite like you.
The illustrations are done in soft, bright tones that reinforce a compassion to support us as the text acknowledges the many ways in which we can feel conspicuously different from those around us: skin color, clothes, language, economics, cultural traditions, etc. We watch through the words and pictures in the book as children summon the courage to share small pieces of themselves with their peers. We see their delight in discoveries of both the familiar things they have in common and the colorful, interesting ways in which they are different.
And all at once, in a room where no one else is quite like you, the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you.
The Day You Begin is an extraordinarily beautiful book about the courage it takes to be yourself and how sharing who we are deepens our relationships with and appreciation for each other. The Day You Begin is a perfect read-aloud at home or in the classroom with all kinds of opportunities to discuss similarities and differences and how wonderful it is to have both in our lives.