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Looking Like Me

Overview

When you look in a mirror, who do you see?

A boy? A girl?
A son? A daughter?
A runner? A dancer?

Whoever and whatever you see–
just put out your fist and give yourself an "I am" BAM!

This jumping, jazzy, joyful picture book by the award-winning team of Walter Dean and ...

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Overview

When you look in a mirror, who do you see?

A boy? A girl?
A son? A daughter?
A runner? A dancer?

Whoever and whatever you see–
just put out your fist and give yourself an "I am" BAM!

This jumping, jazzy, joyful picture book by the award-winning team of Walter Dean and Christoper Myers celebrates every child, and every thing that child can be.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This always-inventive father and son team (Jazz) offers up an “I am jam,” celebrating how every individual is really a collection of identities. The rap-like verse is voiced by a young narrator named Jeremy, who notices that every person he encounters sees him in a different light: to his sister, he’s a little brother; to his teacher (whose real life counterparts may find inspiration in these pages for a memorable classroom activity), he’s a writer; to a cute passerby, he’s a dancer; to his mother, he’s a dreamer. Each new identity is hailed with an exuberant fist bump: “The mailman lifted his fist./ I gave it a bam!/ It is kind of amazing all the people I am.” Jeremy clearly enjoys the dizzying possibilities that emerge from his conversations, musing at one point, “I’m walking tall and I’m walking proud./ Looked in a mirror—I look like a crowd.” Christopher Myers seconds that emotion with fluorescent and occasionally psychedelic collages that combine digital human figures (reminiscent of early iPod ads) with photographs. He conjures up a funky, visually fluid funhouse that proves pigeonholes are strictly for pigeons. Ages 5–9. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In terse, rhymed couplets, young Jeremy contemplates all of the different roles he plays in his life. In the mirror he sees "a real handsome dude looking just like me." To his sister, he is a little brother; to his father, a son. For each, he gives a "bam" with his fist and moves on. His teacher asks if he is a writer, and he agrees, "spinning dreams that dance across the stage." He's also a child who loves the city, says the mailman. "An artist," notes his grandma. He is a dancer, a talker, a dreamer—all are noted and sealed with the bam of a fist. Jeremy encourages readers to think affirmatively as they celebrate all the "people" they are in their lives. There is a vitality to the dazzling page designs that combine photographs, areas of solid color, black and white blocks of very brief text, and superimposed collage figures. Visual complexities challenge the eye as we try to decipher the symbolism of the objects included, while the message of celebrating who we are comes through clearly. Note the contrast between the book's jacket and its cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—The dynamic father-son duo returns with another high-energy poetry book. Looking Like Me is a song of oneself, and of all of the elements that make up and define an individual. On first looking in the mirror, Jeremy sees "a real handsome dude/looking just like me." When friends and family see him, he discovers that he is also a brother, a son, a writer, a city child—a whole world in one self. The poetry sings with Walter Dean Myers's trademark urban verve. Jeremy punctuates his encounters by fist-bumping his family members and associates and exclaiming "I gave it [the fist] a BAM!" This now-familiar gesture powerfully expresses the solidarity Jeremy feels with the others in his community. Moreover, these encounters underline how his relationships shape his perceptions of himself. The rhyme and repetition flow naturally, capturing the rhythms of everyday conversation and the hip-hop beats many children hear daily. Christopher Myers's bold, vivid illustrations fuel the energy of his father's verse. Bright paper cutouts of the characters stand before photo collages that capture lively occasions in a variety of cultures. These paper figures are blue, green, and other colors that do not correspond to natural skin tones. Children of any ethnic background thus can project themselves onto the silhouettes. This book is an excellent introduction to verse, for it vividly demonstrates how poetry is a vital part of daily life.—Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY
Kirkus Reviews
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. (author's note, not seen) (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606840016
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 282,485
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a writer, a photography collector, a flute player, a cat owner, a Harlem native, a former basketball player, a husband, and a father. You can visit him at www.walterdeanmyers.net.

Christopher Myers is an artist, a writer, a photographer, a clothes designer, a Brooklynite, a former baseball player, and a son.

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