Be You!

Peter H. Reynolds. Orchard, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-338-57231-5
Reynolds (Say Something!) is back in full affirmation mode, exhorting readers to be themselves and breaking down what that means into a series of refrain-like “Be” statements (“Be curious,” “Be okay being alone”). Each gets a spread: on the left is a bright, poster-like vignette showing a child who embodies the desired character trait, while the right page offers a brief exegesis. “Be connected,” for example, shows two kids smiling broadly while riding on a tandem bike as the text explains, “Find kindred spirits./ Be with those who make you feel/ like the real you.” The statements pile up; taken together, readers may start feeling like all this encouragement blends into one tall order. Only one breaks with the format (“Be persistent” sits on a striking spread of a child intently but successfully sailing through a thunderstorm), and only one acknowledges that life can be truly overwhelming (“Be okay with reaching out for help” finds a flailing child being handed a life preserver). But any reader feeling the pressure to conform to expectations may find great comfort in knowing this book is on a nearby shelf, at the ready to offer up good counsel. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/02/2020
Release date: 03/03/2020
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 978-89-01-24889-9
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