WHAT I TELL MYSELF FIRST by Michael A. Brown

WHAT I TELL MYSELF FIRST

Children’s Real-World Affirmations of Self-Esteem
by ; illustrated by
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This illustrated children’s book aims to build self-esteem through affirmations.

Debut author Brown opens by offering three statements for kids to complete: “I am _____”; “The truth is _____”; and “A lie is _____.” Each statement is accompanied by instructions to help them fill in the blank. Recommended affirmations include “I must always tell myself the truth” and “I must love me FIRST.” Throughout, the book also accepts personal limitations: “If I’m not right, that’s okay. I won’t always be right.” It’s always okay to be ourselves, the book says, but we all have responsibilities to, for instance, teach what we’ve learned and earn respect. A final page explains the psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with a diagram. Overall, the book seems well intentioned, and Ranucci’s (Crave to be Bold, 2018, etc.) energetic images hearteningly show diverse skin colors, body shapes, and abilities. Also, although plenty of children’s books offer affirmations, few address Maslow’s theory. However, some of its statements are questionable, such as “It is NO ONE’s job to ‘Protect Me’ from anything. That is my job.” Many would say that adults should, for example, respond to bullying.

This book’s diverse representation is a plus, but there are better options available in this genre.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-73418-480-8
Page count: 30pp
Publisher: Mabma Enterprises, LLC
Program: Kirkus Indie
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