Me I Am!
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Me I Am!

by Jack Prelutsky, Christine Davenier
     
 

I am the only ME I AM
who qualifies as me;
no ME I AM has been before,
and none will ever be.

Three very different children reveal their individual personalities in a series of visual mini-adventures. Readers meet a mischievous tomboy who would rather roller-skate than wear a frilly dress, an inquisitive

Overview

I am the only ME I AM
who qualifies as me;
no ME I AM has been before,
and none will ever be.

Three very different children reveal their individual personalities in a series of visual mini-adventures. Readers meet a mischievous tomboy who would rather roller-skate than wear a frilly dress, an inquisitive nature-loving boy, and an artistic ballerina who puts her own spin on Swan Lake. Finally, in a wild and funny climax, the three collide – only to discover a world full of unique and special "ME's."

With exuberant art and gleeful verse, this empowering celebration of individuality and diversity is just right for any young child discovering his or her own self – and the fun of being ME!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Spinning off a lovable, previously published poem by Prelutsky, Davenier illustrates the same several verses three times, with each iteration gaining power and meaning through depictions of three distinct children.” —Starred, Booklist

“A celebration of creativity.” —Publishers Weekly

“Cheerful.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The poem comes alive with a freshness that honors children on the road to self-discovery and exuberantly celebrates the differences that make them who they are.” —School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

Like Dr. Seuss's "Sam I Am" (from Green Eggs and Ham), Prelutsky's trio of heroes extols the virtues of individualism. However, it is Davenier's (Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen) imaginative artwork that brings this playful picture book uniquely to life. All of the three featured characters insist, "I am the only Me I Am/ who qualifies as me;/ no Me I Amhas been before,/ and none will ever be." Davenier portrays each child with enough specific details and comedic vignettes to create three visual stories even though the poem itself does not differentiate character traits or personal effects. A sports-minded girl full of joie de vivre rejects a fancy dress in favor of a pirate's outfit. A budding scientist happily creates a makeshift bird hospital for an injured feathered friend. An inventive aspiring ballerina creates a hat from a tissue box, and gives a backyard performance with her dog ("Tickets 5¢"). When her pet steals the word "Me" from the text, all three children join up in hot pursuit of the pooch, attracting many other kids. On the final spread, the multicultural parade climbs over the word Me!as if it were an enticing piece of playground equipment. Davenier's distinctive, lively illustrations save the book from being an endorsement of the Me-too generation's fixation on the self. She transforms it into a celebration of creativity and emphasizes all those human endeavors that both set us apart and bring us together. Ages 3-6. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Laura Ruttig
Prelutsky's poem, originally printed in The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983), forms the basis of this picture book. His verse is whimsically Seuss-ish, and the wonderfully repetitive nature of the verses is sure to be a hit with young readers. Davenier's illustrations, on the other hand, are generally disappointing. The carelessly drawn watercolors are clearly intended to look as if created by a child, but the color choices make many scenes unappealing. Blue-and-brown highlights give the book a hint of sadness, even though the verses are cheerfully upbeat. Furthermore, although the emphasis of the text is on the individuality of each child, all of the children in the book look pretty much identical, other than a barely distinguishable choice of clothes. The scribbled nature of the pencil lines and the small scale of many of the drawings also make it difficult to follow many of the action sequences without very close scrutiny. Better usage of color or a different style of illustration would probably fix many of these issues, but as it is, this picture book is only mediocre.
School Library Journal

PreS - Gr 2 - This is the picture-book version of Prelutsky's ode to individuality, originally anthologized in The Random House Book of Poetry for Children(1983). In the brief lines of verse, children celebrate the things that make them unique emotionally ("No other ME I AM can feel/the feelings I've within"), physically ("no other ME I AM can fit/precisely in my skin"), and universally ("I am the only ME I AM/this earth shall ever see"). The poem is repeated three times, each time featuring a different child. Readers meet a girl who would rather roller skate and ride her bike than wear frilly dresses, a boy who loves science and nature, and a budding ballerina who loves being center stage. In the end, the youngsters come together and they are joined by many other children, all celebrating with the last line, " . . . that ME I AM I always am/is no one else but-/ME!" Davenier's colorful illustrations capture the ebullience of the children as well as their intensity as they pursue their interests. Her delicate use of watercolors and her sketchy line create the feeling of gaiety and movement, yet elegantly convey personality and emotion. As a result, the poem comes alive with a freshness that honors children on the road to self-discovery and exuberantly celebrates the differences that make them who they are.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Prelutsky's poem, which originally appeared in The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983), propels French artist Davenier's cheerful watercolors. The poem's quartet of four-line stanzas riffs on the theme of personal uniqueness: "There is no other ME I AM / who thinks the thoughts I do; / the world contains one ME I AM, / there is no room for two." The poem repeats three times, with Davenier successively supplying three active children whose rooms brim with the trappings of their intense interests. A girl who loves raucous pretend play-abetted by a cape, pirate wear and a goldfish sidekick-leads off. A boy who loves nature and tending its creatures is next, followed by a brown-skinned girly girl who dances before a row of stuffed toys. The artist uses appealing spot illustrations to reveal each child's disparate imagination at work. On the last few spreads, the trio converges, joining a phalanx of milling children celebrating both the concept, and the giant, yellow-lettered word: "ME!" Slight, but not without its charms. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374349028
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/17/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
322,631
Product dimensions:
10.31(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
AD610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

JACK PRELUTSKY's award-winning poetry has been delighting children for decades and he is the Poetry Foundation's first Children's Poet Laureate. He lives in Seattle, Washington. CHRISTINE DAVENIER has illustrated many picture books, including Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best. She lives in Paris, France.

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