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Uplifting Picture Books That Don't Preach
I Like Myself!
I Like Myself!
by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
Harcourt Children's Books,(2004)
I like myself!
I'm glad I'm me.
There's no one else I'd rather be.
I like my eyes, my ears, my nose.
I like my fingers and my toes.
I like me wild. I like me tame.
I like me different and the same.
--I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow, p. 1-7.
Beaumont uses upbeat rhyming text to encourage readers to like themselves, inside and out, no matter what they look like. I Like Myself! is more an encouraging talk from a parent or mentor than a story, but it combines silliness and joy to pull readers in. In the first half of the book the text can seem almost didactic, however, the messages are important.
Exuberant watercolor-and-ink paintings in bright colors depict a joyful African-American girl and her dog. The paintings are at times reminiscent of a modern Dr. Seuss, with a Seuss-like bicycle, clawed-couch, and fun out-of-proportion people and objects, and this is further reinforced by the rhyming text.
The overt messages about liking yourself may be off- putting for some readers (it's not in a story form which may be more easily absorbed) but it may be a balm for many people who need a boost of self-esteem. Every child should hear the loving messages in this book. The text combines serious messages with humor, and the playful illustrations greatly add to this. ("I'd still like me...with/ beaver breath or stinky toes/or horns protruding from my nose.")
This book encourages readers to realize that it doesn't matter what other people see you as, you can and should like yourself for who you are. A book that will fill many needs. Recommended.
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