Actor Jamie Lee Curtis and winsome illustrator Laura Cornell continue their successful collaboration (Today I Feel Silly
, When I Was Little
, et al.) with this paean to poise and self-assurance, I'm Gonna Like Me
The duo sets out to "let off a little self-esteem" by following a seriously self-actualized (and gratifyingly quirky) boy and girl throughout their day on alternating pages. The kids take turns carrying the lines, often switching off midsentence, to describe exactly how and why "I'm gonna like me." (Girl: "I'm gonna like me / when I'm called on to stand. / I know all my letters / like the back of my hand." Boy: "I'm gonna like me / when my answer is wrong, / like thinking my ruler / was ten inches long.") The call and response continues through the action-packed day, as the kids get up, go to school, have lunch, go to a birthday party, etc., until they finally get tucked in--so no opportunity for building self-esteem gets overlooked.
Young readers will like Curtis's words and the rhythmic repetition, but it's Cornell's scribbling, reminiscent of the New Yorker's Roz Chast, that makes the book stand out. From an imagined fashion-show runway walk (love that snooty fashion press) to a hilarious lunch table spread (got to get some of that "Cup o' Lettuce" and "Pork by the Foot" for your Doris Day lunch box), Cornell fills the book with funny faces and lots of laughs (the best of which might be the girl's pet turtle working out in a cage with a treadmill, next to a book titled "Exercising Your Illegal Turtle"). (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.