cover image I'M GONNA LIKE ME: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem

I'M GONNA LIKE ME: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem

Jamie Lee Curtis, , illus. by Laura Cornell. . HarperCollins/Cotler, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028761-0

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. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)