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LOOKING LIKE ME by Walter Dean Myers Kirkus Star

LOOKING LIKE ME

By Walter Dean Myers (Author) , Christopher Myers (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60684-001-6
Publisher: Egmont USA

The Myerses—father and son—reunite for a poetic celebration of self that blends a sort of Whitman-esque hip-hop with ’70s-vibe visuals. Adapting the cumulative cadences of Bill Martin’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Walter Dean Myers’s text immediately establishes a preeminent self-affirmation: “I looked in the mirror / And what did I see? / A real handsome dude looking just like me.” Narrator Jeremy hears from a succession of family, neighbors and community members and adds role after role to his portfolio. He’s a brother, son, writer, city kid, artist, dancer, talker, runner, dreamer: “Looked in the mirror— / I look like a crowd.” Christopher Myers overlays eclectic photo collages with stylized, silhouetted figures in saturated hues of chartreuse, butternut, chocolate, magenta and more. The text’s two upper-case typefaces look like gritty, spray-painted stencils and whimsical woodcuts. There’s a touch of call-and-response in the refrain (“He put out his fist. / I gave it a BAM!”) that begs to be read aloud. This vibrant synthesis of poetry and pictures is a natural for classrooms and family sharing. (Picture book. 4-8)