The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About their Bodies in Pictures and Words

Overview

An award-winning photographer asked several children "What is the best part of you?", and presents their answers in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, deeply personal book that includes striking black-and-white photographs taken by the author. Ideal for parents and teacher to use to discuss body image, self-esteem, and diversity with children.

An overweight sixth-grader joins forces with three other gym class outcasts to plot revenge against the spoiled popular ...

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Overview

An award-winning photographer asked several children "What is the best part of you?", and presents their answers in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, deeply personal book that includes striking black-and-white photographs taken by the author. Ideal for parents and teacher to use to discuss body image, self-esteem, and diversity with children.

An overweight sixth-grader joins forces with three other gym class outcasts to plot revenge against the spoiled popular girl who has been tormenting them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Wendy Ewald's The Best Part of Me: Children Talk about Their Bodies in Pictures and Words was created in a school in Durham, NC, initiated by Ewald's Literacy Thorough Photography Project begun at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. Ewald decided to use "photography as a starting point for writing" and to explore how "children regarded their bodies." Her approach was driven by the children and their perceptions. She began by asking them to name a favorite body part and took a Polaroid of that part. Together they discussed composition and once the picture was planned, the children were off to compose prose and poems with "their extraordinarily gifted writing teacher," Lisa Lord. Last, each was recorded in the child's own hand and matched to a final photograph. Both photographs and writings show a range of styles and thoughts, the two images complimenting and enhancing each other. Camila's beautiful hair fills the frame of the photograph and she explains with pride and poetry, "It comes from my Mexican heritage. It's wavy like the ocean." Colette crosses expressive, long-fingered hands in her photo and views their capabilities emotionally. They can "turn the pages of a book slowly and magically," or "wipe my eyes when I am sad." Tramika's hands are square and sturdy and the writing is solid and non-apologetic. "My hands are big, I say strong...Maybe that's why they're big and ugly...See the reason I choose my hands is because I like them even if they're big and ugly." And Nada's hands are crossed and she writes poetically, "When I pray my hands overlap/In the sun they shine/The color of my hands is toasty brown/These beautiful things are mine." 2002, Little Brown, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8.Reviewer: Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students offer personal observations about their bodies. Entries look hand lettered and face a black-and-white photo of the body part featured. Camila Villasana likes her hair-"It's wavy like the ocean." Colette Cosner likes her hands "because they turn the pages of a book slowly and magically." Andrew Legge likes his legs because they "carry me a long way." The result is insight into how the children of varied ethnicities see themselves and take pride in their heritage. The book is an outgrowth of the Literacy Through Photography program Ewald originated at Duke University. This example of a successful writing prompt might be used to encourage students to think more about their own bodies and self-images.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316703062
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 1 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: 490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Ewald is a writer, photographer, and teacher dedicated to children's issues. Her photos have appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Harper's, and DoubleTake, among others, and are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Center of Photography. She has received numerous prizes for her work, among them a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. The poems and photographs in this book are drawn from Literacy Through Photography, a program she originated in the Durham, NC public schools.
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