I Am, You Are
I like to laugh.
(Small white boy standing on head, farting. White background. All backgrounds predominately white/empty throughout story.)
And even sometimes cry.
(Boy hugging old dog, cheek-to-cheek, tear in eye.)
To be happy,
(Boy, happy, at beach, jumping off pier, floatation tube around waist.)
(Big slob throwing garbage over shoulder. Boy watching, furious.)
I suspect just like you.
(Same scene, different angle. Angry boy in background. Slob in middle of page. This time, in foreground, we can see Aboriginal girl, also angry at slob.)
Are you the sort of person,
(Aboriginal girl running, flying a kite, smiling.)
who’d like to plant a tree?
(Girl holding sapling in cupped hands. Shovel and hole behind her.)
Just so each year, you can see greatness grow?
(Girl, now older, playing tea party with dolls, under tall, skinny tree, shovel still beside it, but now with cobwebs.)
If so, you’re just like me.
(Girl, older still, looking up what is now a very wide trunk, as is a young Asian boy.)
I bet there are a lot of things,
(Asian boy jumping with joy in a muddy puddle.)
we both like to do.
(Asian boy, small, marvelling at dinosaur skeleton held up by wires, like in a museum.)
Imagine that; you being like me,
(Asian boy fingers in mouth, tongue out, pulling face into a mirror. The reflection is exactly the same action, but being down by an Arabic girl.)
and me being just like you!
(Arabic girl skimming rocks in water. Her reflection is mimicking her actions, but of a Peruvian girl.)
I know there are things we both fear,
(Peruvian girl on bed, scared of monster under it. Boy with red hair and freckles on bed’s other side, scared, looking under it.)
and things that make us sad.
(African boy at a funeral.)
I hope there are way, way more
(Russian girl playing hopscotch.)
things that make us both glad.
(Russian girl playing hide-and-seek, looking for boy, from start, who is hiding on limb of tree above her.)
Things like: I missed you,
(Boy and Aboriginal girl hugging.)
or I love them.
(Boy smiling, watching Aboriginal girl and Hungarian boy laughing, kicking up/playing in dead leaves.)
And what about that girl over there?
(Boy from start, Arabic girl, and African boy, looking at Maori girl slumped and on her own.)
Or that lonely boy?
(All four of them together, now. Three are dancing. Arabic girl is pushing awkward boy to join them in dancing.)
I bet we all have much the same ways
(Double page spread of kids of all shapes and sizes, celebrating Aboriginal girl’s birthday. Boy from start closes to her.)
to find life’s simple joy.
(Boy from start and Aboriginal girl walking into sunset, arms over each other’s shoulders.)