I LOVE ME by Israel Idonije


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This children’s picture book encourages kids to love their bodies and what they can do.

In a cartoon-bright playground filled with bees, squirrels, butterflies, and leafy trees, a group of large-eyed children romp. Each is special, “with lots of gifts” and an inner light that glows “bright and beautifully.” The children take turns saying what they love about themselves—eyes, nose, hands, mouth, ears, legs, feet, and knees—and why: because each part helps a child experience something wonderful. A nose “helps me breathe the fresh, clean air and summer breeze”; ears “help me hear my friends talking, far and near.” With “every part made perfectly,” each kid concludes, “I LOVE ME!” Space is provided for kids to write down what they love about themselves. Idonije (I Love Football, 2017, etc.) gives the book’s self-esteem concept a lot of breezy energy, helped by RF’s full-color, kinetic illustrations. Idonije’s verse mostly scans well, with a bouncy rhythm. It’s good, too, that Renzo pays attention to diversity, including black, Asian, and Caucasian children. It’s disappointing, though, that this body-focused tale doesn’t take disabled kids into account, whose ears, eyes, or limbs may not be “made” the same way, and who therefore may not recognize themselves in this book as deserving of self-love.

A good message, but one limited to the able-bodied.

Pub Date: April 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-946687-08-1
Page count: 20pp
Publisher: ATHLiTACOMiCS
Program: Kirkus Indie
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