Today I Read…I Like Myself!

Image result for i like myself karen beaumontToday I read I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, and illustrated by David Catrow.

I like myself. I like my insides and my outsides and what I think and what I do. I like who I am, when I’m silly or creative or messy or quiet or wild or calm. I like me!

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I know I’ve been reviewing a lot of picture books lately, but a) I seem to have a lot of small children in my life who need new books lately (all small children need new books), and b) you all seem to like these reviews a lot more, based on new likes and followers whenever I post reviews of picture books compared to posts about anything else.

I found this book at the book store while I was searching for a first birthday gift for Second Niece, cousin to Tiny Niece and Giant Nephew. (Still working on a better name for Second Niece.) I like Karen Beaumont and David Catrow–I’ve previously reviewed their collaboration I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More. It’s a very positive message about self-esteem and being who you are, and liking it. And kids will laugh at things like polka-dot lips, pig snouts, and giant warthog tusks. The little girl in the book is creative and active, roller-blading, pretending to be a rocket ship, and riding a bicycle worthy of Dr. Suess. It’s a good book for very casual diversity as well–the little girl is black, though it isn’t directly relevant to the story, but one particular picture has her waking up in bed with truly wild natural hair, about four times bigger than she is. It is powerful to have that image paired with the lines “Even when I look a mess, I still don’t like me any less,” since I know there are still controversies about attitudes towards natural black hair. This isn’t a new book by any means, as it was published in 2004, but this is still a great lesson I would like to have Second Niece (and Tiny Niece and Giant Nephew too) grow up knowing. After all, I like her an awful lot, she should like herself too.

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Today I Read…I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!

I Ain't Gonna Paint No MoreToday I read I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow.

Mama caught me paintin’ pictures on the floor and the ceiling and the walls and everywhere else, so she took my paints away and made me take a bath. ICK! She says I can’t paint no more. And I won’t after…

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The grammar is atrocious, particularly when Mama hollers “YA AIN’T A-GONNA PAINT NO MORE!”, but kids will get a kick out of singing the repeated lines along. This book really needs the rhymes to be sung, especially the lines “I ain’t gonna paint no more, no more, I ain’t gonna paint no more.” The rhymes can also be used to teach children the different body parts that the little boy paints. This is emphasized by the words for the body parts being set aside from the rest of the lettering and being in a much larger font, as well as the accompanying illustration focusing on said body part.

The illustrations nicely compliment the story, especially how everything in the house is black and white except for the little boy’s paint. The painting is certainly creative, even if the adult reader may want to slip in a reminder not to paint on furniture, body parts, or anything else that adults would disapprove of getting painted. The reader can encourage the children in the audience to point at the body parts named and to go along with the action, such as making faces along with the little boy during the dreaded baths.

This book is suitable for reading to younger children, especially preschoolers.

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