Is There Really a Human Race?
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis and Illustrated by Laura Cornell
While most up-to-date people in the world know the actress, Jamie Lee Curtis, a much smaller population is familiar with Jamie Lee Curtis the children’s author. She and her illustrating partner, Laura Cornell, have been publishing children’s picture books for the past decade or so, with titles ranging from It’s Hard to be Five to my personal favorite, Is There Really a Human Race?
In this heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining story, Curtis and Cornell portray a young boy’s journey to learn about the confusing concept of a ‘human race.’ The story has an almost Seuss-like rhyming pattern to it, with lilting and smooth writing that begs to be read aloud.
Cornell’s illustrations are absolutely beautiful, with bold, rich colors filling the book from cover to cover. The detail is incredible, right down to the label of the gummy snacks the little boy is eating on the first and last pages. The text placement and font is also fun and exciting, both the print and images large and perfectly suited to classroom read alouds. Children will no doubt love pointing out the wacky details decorating each page, and following the main character’s pet lizard from spread to spread.
Aside from the excellent writing and illustration, the story is one with a surprisingly grown up moral which suggests that life is in fact not a race, that it is easy to get caught up in our own lives, and sometimes we must slow down and remember those around us. Curtis is extremely respectful and trusting of young readers with this important subject matter, presenting this hopeful and heartwarming topic through such a thoroughly enjoyable read.