Last night I read Miss K one of my all time favorite children's books. Scratch that. One of my all time favorite books. I had my mom send it to me from Germany for Miss K.
The book is called Das Kleine Ich bin Ich. It is about this little animal that at first lives a happy life being itself until a frog asks it what kind of animal it is followed by telling the little Ich Bin Ich that it is stupid for not knowing who it is. The poor little thing then tries to find out if it is maybe a horse, a fish, a parrot or a dog among other things. While there are always things they have in common it never fits in and keeps on searching. In the end it gets very sad and feels as if it belongs nowhere and is nobody. That is though when it realizes one of the most important life lessons one can ever learn: It doesn't have to be a horse, hippo, or parrot. It is and always will be itself.
With this newly found wisdom and happiness it returns home to its meadow where it meets up with his old friends who are excited to see it back and even the frog accepts the little Ich bin Ich's answer to who it is in the end.
This book is beautifully written, great illustrations and contains a wonderful message for readers of all ages: In order to be happy you don't have to be like anybody else. What IS important it to be yourself and nothing else. It is a lesson my parents have taught me from a very early age and it is a lesson I am hoping to instill in our daughters (and, even though late, in my husband).