Beaumont, Karen. 2004. I LIKE MYSELF. Ill. David Catrow. New York: Harcourt. ISBN 0152020136 [Suggested Grade Levels K-2]
This fun, silly ode to self-esteem follows a young African American protagonist as she dances across the pages proclaiming the many qualities that she likes about herself, and simultaneously convincing the reader to feel the same. Rhyming text with lines such as “I may be called a silly nut / or crazy cuckoo bird - so what? / I’m having too much fun, you see, / for anything to bother me!” maintains silliness at the forefront and keeps the professions of positive self-esteem from becoming trite or overly sentimental.
The zaniness of the text is equaled by Caltrow’s brightly hued watercolor illustrations which jump off of the page and inspire thoughts of Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Frequent alterations in the characters’ proportions, changes in the use of space on the page, and vividly changing background colors give the illustrations a sense of action and movement while also making each picture unique and original, just like the protagonist. It is a wild and crazy romp that is sure to resonate with readers as it entertains and amuses them.
Children can share what they like about themselves and follow that up by drawing a picture of their favorite thing about themselves. Use the illustrations on the page with the text “I like my eyes, my ears, my nose. / I like my fingers and my toes,” to serve as a model for their own drawings.
Beaumont’s text is so amusing and fresh, share some of the passages again after you’ve finished the book. Then, invite children to make up short rhyming poems about themselves - the sillier the better! They can also illustrate their work or have fun reading and performing their compositions for their friends.
Other stories about self-esteem:
Appelt, Kathi. INCREDIBLE ME! ISBN 0060286229
Carlson, Nancy. I LIKE ME! ISBN 0140508198
Curtis, Jamie Lee. I’M GONNA LIKE ME: LETTING OFF A LITTLE SELF-ESTEEM. ISBN 0060287616
By Erin Miklauz