Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jane Yolen & Maddison Stemple-Piatt ; illustrated by Chloe Burgett

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-4338-3864-4
Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Children celebrate their abundant bodies, from their hair to their feet.

Prolific author Yolen joins forces with her grandchild Stemple-Piatt to create a simple, rhyming picture book about the beauty and power of large bodies. Depicting kids with a variety of skin tones, the story employs a gentle formula to uplift physical features that children may feel self-conscious of, including wide feet, thick thighs, and long arms. Each child describes a body part that often attracts attention (a Black youth notes, “Some friends mention my very broad shoulders / Say I’d make small work of mighty big boulders”), followed by a positive framing of the part in question (“But I pull my shoulders back, and I walk with pride”). Each segment concludes with the titular affirmation: “Then I look in the mirror—and what do I see? / BIG and BOLD and BEAUTIFUL me!” As each child repeats the celebratory refrain, Burgett’s cheerful illustrations portray them alongside kids from previous spreads, emphasizing connection and belonging. Disability isn't discussed in the text, though characters with disabilities (including a child with a limb difference and another child who uses a hearing aid) are depicted. In a growing landscape of body-positive children’s literature, this book’s overworked rhymes keep it from shining, but those looking for a gentle introduction to body acceptance will find it a solid option. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An upbeat, uncomplicated ode to bodies that are big, thick, broad, and boundless.

(Picture book. 4-7)