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…Girls A to Z

girls a to zToday I read Girls A to Z written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Suzanne Bloom.

In this charming and inspiring picture book, girls are shown with interests as diverse as their names, from A to Z! From being an astronaut to making ice cream to owning a zoo, girls can do anything!

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I bought this book at the Word on the Street Festival this year for my niece, since her first birthday is coming up. I loved how diverse it was without making it the point of the book. All of the little girls are of different ethnicities, and one girl is in a wheelchair. However, this makes no difference to their interests. Any girl can have any interest. There are traditionally feminine vocations included–homemaking, cooking, dancing, teaching, being a librarian, childcare, and music. There are also traditionally masculine vocations, such as engineering, computer science, sports, and politics. There are ‘high-class’ interests like being a surgeon and ‘low-class’ interests like selling gasoline. The words are simple, with every girl’s name and interest beginning with the same letter of the alphabet. The letters aren’t emphasized visually (some alphabet books would make the letter larger on the page), and the vocabulary isn’t simplified (astronaut and xylophone aren’t easy words to read), so this book is probably more suitable to read to a very beginning reader, instead of having him or her read to an adult. However, the pictures are large and bright, and can be used by the adult to help prompt the child to read the interests.

This book is lovely, and I can’t wait to read it to little niece, once I’m sure that she won’t try to chew on the pages.