|Just like me|
Author: Brantley-Newton, Vanessa
Poems for girls of all kinds whether they're shy or outgoing, live in the city or country, feel confident and powerful or feel afraid.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 508676
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/19)
School Library Journal (01/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2019 Brantley-Newton's vibrantly illustrated picture book offers an empowering yet playful collection of poems that explores the beauty and nuances of girlhood. Despite the girl-power through line, well over half of the poems apply to children of any gender. For instance, “Warrior” declares, “I am a warrior / willing to fight the good fight / Respectfully / with humanity / and lovingly.” And while a multi-cultural group of girls jumps rope in “All in Together Girls,” the message of this poem applies to all: “We all belong to the human race / Diversity will help us keep the pace.” The mixed-media artwork—fashioned with paints, pastels, collage, handmade paper, and lots of magic—features relatable, detailed scenes that pop with color and diversity. The wide array of topics covered is evident in the poems’ titles: “I Love My Body,” “Pimples,” “Explorer,” “Gumbo Me,” and “I Am a Canvas,” to name a few. Bursting with positivity, this would be a great book to use in primary school classrooms when discussing issues of friendship, diversity, and self-esteem. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 PreS-Gr 3—This collection of 28 poems features bright and colorful illustrations depicting a variety of girls. Brantley-Newton's artwork pops with neon bright shades and interesting textiles, exuding a welcoming, cheerful vibe. The poems encourage girls to love their bodies and families, and to embrace their unique personalities. On the surface, this appears to be a work of feel-good poems for young readers; however, a handful of verses discuss topics that might deter some adults from using the book as a storytime read-aloud, like "Sundress Blues," in which a gust of wind exposes a girl's underwear. "A Wish for Daddy" shows a young girl who envies another girl's tender relationship with her father. There is a subtle reference to religion in "Memawh's Wisdom," where a girl is cautioned to make "the right choice…and keep the Good Book handy…and don't forget to pray." Readers will appreciate the author's inclusive approach to the artwork (girls of many races are represented), though the illustrations are not diverse in terms of body type, physical ability, or gender expression. VERDICT A bright addition to refresh any poetry collection.—Shannon O'Connor, Unami Middle School, Chalfont, PA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.