Miller and Barton encourage kids to be their best, follow their own drummers, and give their all in a book that is sure to bring to mind Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go.
Adorable, racially diverse children march through these pages, showing off their personalities and talents. A proud black girl with braids and a baton leads a parade of children past a window where a shy white child in a cardboard crown watches. By the final page, this child has joined the rest, playing an offered drum with wild abandon. In between, kids practice their skills and follow their passions: engaging in a neighborhood cleanup, fixing a wagon, rollerblading, reading, counting, drawing, imagining, singing. Miller sends the message that whatever your talents, you need to get off the sidelines and share them: “So find what you’re good at, what you have to give. / Then go share your sunshine wherever you live.” And no matter how out-there your particular talent might seem, “Don’t change how you act to be just like the rest. / Believe in yourself and the things you do best.” Barton’s pencil, mixed-media, and digital illustrations portray believable kids doing kid things—they are silly, uncertain, messy, athletic, bookish, and daring. Not a one is perfect, but they are giving it their all.
Advice for being the best you you can be. (Picture book. 4-8)