What Makes Us Human

Victor D. O. Santos & Anna Forlati | Italy

'What Makes Us Human' is a picture book developed in partnership with Brazilian-born picture book author Victor D.O. Santos. The book is told in the first person by an inanimate entity.

Differently from recently published picture books also told in the first person by an inanimate entity (“I am Subway”, “I am Smoke”, and “Almost Nothing, Yet Everything”), the actual theme and main character of 'What Makes Us Human' is not revealed until the very last page. Readers must therefore engage emotionally and intellectually with each page, trying to decipher after each clue what the book is about and what the first-person protagonist is.

“I have been around for a very long
time. Longer than toys, dogs, or
anyone you know. I am everywhere.

Can you guess what I am?”
(Excerpt from Back Cover)

The topic of the book is a very timely one, as explained on the last page (back matter). The author of the book (Victor D.O. Santos, Ph.D.) is an internationally recognized expert on the topic and will donate part of his advances/royalties from sales of this book to organizations around the world working in this area.

The illustrations seen in this version of the book submitted to The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 4 are close to finished but will still be fine-tuned in the final version, which will be completed by August 2022.

PS: The author (Victor D. O. Santos) is the main point of contact for this project.

Ars in Fabula Macerata
Master in Illustrazione per l'editoria (Master’s degree in Illustration for the Publishing Industry)
Graduation: 2012

Published titles: 35