Mommy, am I pretty?

A colorful story that can help parents start an early conversation about beauty and self-esteem.

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Denommé encourages children to remember that beauty shines from within in this inspiring children’s book.

Molly’s best friend asks her if she looks “pretty,” but she isn’t quite sure what the word means. At home, Molly’s mother quickly determines that the girl doesn’t understand what it is that makes someone pretty, so she seizes on a teachable moment. She provides her daughter several examples by asking questions about Molly’s day: “Did you smile and give a friendly greeting to the neighbors?” or did she “step over a worm?” Being polite, trying your best, being kind to a new child at school, or sharing a toy are all actions that make someone pretty, Molly’s mother says. She reminds the girl that “the way you look on the outside has nothing to do with how pretty you are on the inside. Pretty comes from a person’s heart.” Molly heeds her mother’s words and comes to realize that her mother is one of the prettiest people she knows, because of her kindness. She also realizes that she’s pretty herself, from the inside out. Denommé’s short book takes aim at society’s traditional, superficial definitions of beauty. In very simple, straightforward terms, she drives home the message that one’s actions towards others and one’s positive sense of self are what truly count. The examples that Molly’s mother cites are all age-appropriate for young readers, who will understand the importance of helping others through small, everyday deeds. It’s a concept that seems very simple in theory, yet one that can be difficult for people to implement. The colorful illustrations by Denommé’s young daughters are a cheerful accompaniment to the text, and even the youngest readers, who may not understand the words, will be able to understand the overall message.

A colorful story that can help parents start an early conversation about beauty and self-esteem. 

Pub Date: July 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9920340-0-9

Page Count: 34

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2015


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007


The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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