Can I Build Another Me?


Can I Build Another Me?
Shinsuke Yoshitake
Thames & Hudson
The boy narrator of this powerful, brilliantly inventive book, shares with readers what happens when he comes up with the ingenious idea of building a Kevin replica in order to avoid doing boring things such as homework, tidying his room and generally helping around the house. Off he goes to the electronics shop where he spends all his pocket money on a robot. “From now on, you’re going to be the new me!” he informs the thing, “But don’t let anyone know. You must behave exactly like me.”
The ordinary basic facts are easily dealt with …


but in order to be fool-proof, the robot needs to know everything about Kevin and that entails getting right up close and personal …


Even that is not enough though; Kevin has to do a complete self-evaluation and consider the things that REALLY make him, him. No easy undertaking, as talking about himself is not something Kevin likes to do, especially when it comes to tricky considerations such as ‘What do other people think about me?


Eventually, it becomes evident that Kevin is anything but ordinary


or as his Grandma has pointed out he’s ‘NO ONE BUT ME … everyone is like a tree … you can choose how to grow … and it’s whether you like your tree, that’s what counts!’
In other words, he’s utterly unique: it’s the Kevinness of Kevin that matters.


Is that something the robot can ever really take on, no matter how precise a picture he has amassed: will the master plan work or will Mum see through the whole charade right away? Err …
Philosophy for children this certainly is: I lost count of how many times it opens up space for reflection and discussion. It’s also totally empowering, funny, bound to induce self-reflection – who can resist creating some quirky Kevin-style self-portraits like these …


and the minimal colour palette and superbly detailed illustrations, both large and small, all build up to one thing when it comes to the latest Yoshitake and that one thing is, genius.

Use your local bookshop   localbookshops_NameImage-2

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