The Barnes & Noble Review
Give kids a dose of healthy confidence building with this visually hilarious, romping picture book from Karen Beaumont and I'm Still Here in the Bathtub illustrator David Catrow. Loaded with wacky scenes of a small, smiley-faced girl with big self-esteem, this open-hearted picture book celebrates liking yourself: "Inside, outside, upside down, from head to toe and all around, I like it all! It all is me! And me is all I want to be." Beaumont's peppy rhymes bounce along as the girl hangs out with her pooch, dances in a birdbath, rides a zany bicycle, imagines herself with "purple polka-dotted lips," and more (even with those lips, she'd still like herself). Catrow's illustrations are as jubilant and knee-slapping as ever, set from fun perspectives and adding silly extras that make the text even more uplifting. A joyous read for celebrating the spirit, this excellent companion to Jamie Lee Curtis's I'm Gonna Like Me or Todd Parr's The Feel Good Book will help any kid stay confident or overcome those down-in-the-dumps feelings. Matt Warner
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont (Baby Danced the Polka), illus. by David Catrow, is a breezy affirmation of self. The rhymes can be goofy ("I'd still like me with fleas or warts,/ or with a silly snout that snorts"), but even when they are straightforward, as they are in the beginning ("I like me on the inside too/, for all I think and say and do"). Catrow's (Plantzilla) typically zany illustrations up-end them (for the "I like me on the inside" verse, he shows the narrator and her horrified dog in X-ray mode). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Books to raise self-esteem for the young abound. This one is notable for the bouncy, unforced rhymes and particularly for the smile-provoking illustrations, full of details to look for at each reading. The celebration of self covers body parts, inside and out, in many places, "...me is all I want to be;" no matter what others may think or say, "I like myself because I'm ME." Perhaps the dachshund-like dog who accompanies the narrator in every scene is her alter ego; unmentioned in the text, she is a real partner in creating the comic events. Watercolor, ink, and pencil, a bit zany and cartoony illustrations create scenes with just enough context around the two subjects as they dance in a bird bath, contemplate a lion at the zoo, ride a bike-like contraption, or imagine our heroine with a multi-colored pig's snout or purple polka-dotted lips. The final joyous hug is sure to win over even the toughest curmudgeon. 2004, Harcourt Children's Books, Ages 3 to 7.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-Gr 2-This curly haired African-American moppet really likes herself. No matter what she does, wherever she goes, or what others think of her, she likes herself because, as she says, "I'm ME!" Catrow's watercolor, ink, and pencil illustrations bring even more humor to the funny verse. The brightly colored art and rhymes are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's work with their quirky absurdity, especially the full spread of the child and her highly unusual bicycle. Even with "-stinky toes/or horns protruding from my nose," her dog loves her unconditionally. She is so full of joy that readers will love her, too-even when she has purple polka-dotted lips. Titles such as Jamie Lee Curtis's I'm Gonna Like Me (2002) and Kathi Appelt's Incredible Me! (2003, both HarperCollins) have a similar theme, but the main characters are Caucasian. A great addition.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.