The Barnes & Noble Review
The bestselling team of Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell has returned, patting kids on the back in a super-spirited picture book that celebrates confidence.
With rhyming text that uses the memorable repeat phrase "I'm gonna like me when…," Curtis describes various experiences during which children ought to remember their self-esteem. It's especially important during hard times, such as when a student gives the wrong answer in front of the class or someone is picked last for the team. It's also important at good points in life, too, like "when I'm feeling strong. I'll walk with a smile, arms swinging, legs long." But of course, the best time for liking yourself is at home, knowing that a loving family is keeping you safe: "I'm gonna like me 'cause I'm loved and I know it, and liking myself is the best way to show it."
A jovial book reminding kids that despite life's highs and lows, there's no need to get down on yourself, I'm Gonna Like Me stands out as a feel-good triumph. Curtis's voice is sweetly childlike without getting mushy, and her charismatic lines roll off the tongue. Cornell's alternating girl-and-boy illustrations add just the right flair, giving the added humor and perspective that readers have come to love in all of her and Curtis's books. A book that's ideal for reading aloud or giving to someone in need of a little TLC, this surefire hit is reassuring reading. Matt Warner
The dynamic duo behind Today I Feel Silly returns for another lively, emotionally reassuring picture book. This time out, Curtis looks to the source of what makes children (of all ages) feel comfortable in their own skin. Cornell pictures the perky rhymes being delivered by a pair of young protagonists confident enough to shake off embarrassment and to feel proud (though not overly so) of personal achievements. "I'm gonna like me when I'm called on to stand. I know all my letters like the back of my hand," announces a girl dressed in plaid, flowers and a cape. "I'm gonna like me when my answer is wrong, like thinking my ruler was ten inches long," says the boy as both youngsters stand before the school blackboard. Ultimately, the author concludes "I'm gonna like me 'cause I'm loved and I know it, and liking myself is the best way to show it." Though the message is both catchy and effective in its delivery, it's Cornell's humorous, detailed, ink-and-watercolor illustrations that give this volume true pizzazz. She hits just the right note of fear-tinged bravura with the characters' vividly imagined antics. Their portraits, embellished with all manner of costumes and fun accessories (a fire-extinguisher-like toothpaste tube, an Esther Williams lunchbox, a "Dalmatian Kit" for polka-dotting pets), will delight the audience. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In rhyming text, a boy and a girl describe how they will like themselves whether things are going right or wrong. She says, "I'm gonna like me/when I'm called on to stand./I know all my letters/like the back of my hand." He says, "I'm gonna like me/when my answer is wrong,/like thinking my ruler/was ten inches long." They're going to like themselves, too, when they try new things, work on their good behavior, play with baby brother, or help around the house. They're going to like themselves "from [his] giant big toe to the braids on [her] head." Cornell's bright artwork appears to be done in watercolor and ink. The heavily detailed pictures have hidden humor that will be much more entertaining to adults than to children, such as the titles of the books scattered around the children's room. This pleasant addition will combine well with Nancy Carlson's I Like Me! (Viking, 1988) or Peggy Rathmann's Ruby the Copycat (Scholastic, 1991) for storytimes.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
When things go right, it's easy to feel good about oneself, but when things go the other way, sometimes it helps to have good self-esteem. From morning to night, the protagonists of this tale celebrate all there is to being individuals. "From my giant big toe to the braids on my head. I'm gonna like me . . . " Fashion statements, academic accomplishments, honesty, and even bravery in the face of octopus soup are all worthy of praise. A good self-image can also help when giving the incorrect answer in school or when chosen last on the playground. Summarizing the source of their positive outlook, the children claim the best way to show love is to love oneself. The final double-page spread invites readers to join in the fun by expressing their own self-esteem. The text walks a thin line between positive and saccharine, but even with some missteps, the overall message is a good one. Watercolor illustrations of the humorous children splash across each double-paged spread giving the sometimes predictable story some life. Characters' faces are wonderfully expressive and subtle details tucked into each painting will entertain watchful readers. Imaginative artwork keeps this from being forgettable.