A message of love and respect for self and others is charmingly conveyed.
With the wave of uncivil and hateful discourse washing over the country, it is no surprise to see children’s books pushing back against the trend. In this instance, an unseen adult speaks to an equally unseen child, reassuring them they can be anything they wish to be no matter what they look like or what language they speak. Always concluding with “Have I ever told you that?” the adult enumerates all the reasons the child is loved—from the mundane, such as “the way you get food on your forehead when you eat,” through the conversations they hold to “just by being you.” The narrator also wonders if they have told the child “that you should be kind to everyone and treat everyone with respect?” and lists the ways they can do this. The mixed-media illustrations go hand in hand with the text, literally. A series of hands—waving hello, holding a child, holding other hands, spelling out words—takes center stage. Drawn on textured paper, the hands are all different skin colors. The effect all together is uplifting and upbeat yet not saccharine.
An affirming message all children should hear from and, more importantly, discuss with an adult. (Picture book. 4-8)