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The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About their Bodies in Pictures and Words Hardcover – January 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-3-Third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students offer personal observations about their bodies. Entries look hand lettered and face a black-and-white photo of the body part featured. Camila Villasana likes her hair-"It's wavy like the ocean." Colette Cosner likes her hands "because they turn the pages of a book slowly and magically." Andrew Legge likes his legs because they "carry me a long way." The result is insight into how the children of varied ethnicities see themselves and take pride in their heritage. The book is an outgrowth of the Literacy Through Photography program Ewald originated at Duke University. This example of a successful writing prompt might be used to encourage students to think more about their own bodies and self-images.

Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. Photographer Ewald worked with 15 ethnically diverse North Carolina school-children and their teachers to investigate how kids feel about their bodies. Each child selected a favorite body part and contributed a signed, handwritten paragraph or poem about it. Camila Villasana, who chose her hair, writes, "It comes from my Mexican heritage. Its [sic] wavy like the ocean." Ewald's tightly focused, tenderly realistic black-and-white photographs do the rest. The images mix the mundane and the poetic in equal parts and reflect the children's differences in self-esteem. The writing may not be great, but the book will work very well to inspire similar writing projects. Susan Dove Lempke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316703060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316703062
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on March 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Immediate, poetic & bright this big book brings you up close & personal with children's feet, hands, eyes, backs, hair, elbows in award-winning Wendy Ewald's magical photos.
The poems penned by these 15 youngsters are funny & eloquent, touching & proud. As is usual with children, it's more about what they don't say as much as it is about what they do.
Bound to get kids thinking about what they like about their bodies, might even get them writing little ditties about it too! A must in a classroom or school library!
The poems & black & white photos in THE BEST PART OF ME are drawn from Literacy Through Photography, a program Wendy Ewald originated in the public schools of Durham, North Carolina.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JEA on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I shared this book with my third grade class in the beginning of the year. Each double page spread has a child's writing (best self-edited) and a black and white photo. Since the writers were close to their ages, they could model their own writing after the writing in the book. Each child chose their "best part" to write about and then posed for a picture of their hair, feet, etc. I used a digital camera to take black and white photos. The lack of color really emphasized their work. These are now mounted on their lockers for all to see and I have never had as many comments on student writing. This book could inspire writers of many ages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judy Puckett on September 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Great book. What an easy way to get children involved with writing associated with literature. Not only does The Best Part of Me expose children to engaging prose, which they can relate to, it also gets them thinking about what they might say about their own bodies. This is an easy and instant writing project for any classroom, K-12, and the end project creates a terrific bulletin board. The book is worth every cent.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roger M Berg on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My wife, Marilyn, did a Best Part of Me project with one of the classrooms she consults with. The children who wrote and the shildren and adults who saw the photos and the writing about them were engaged.
Wendy Ewald is an amazing person who uses a camera as a way to learn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Avdienko on June 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book to use to help children consider their own "best part". It was a super springboard, and my students came up with some excellent paragraphs. For example, one child wrote that the best part of him was his hands because he used them to pray and help other people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angie B. on August 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was a bit disappointed in this book. I loved that the children were encouraged to write about a part of themselves they were particularly proud of, however, many of the entries weren't especially notable. My favorite was the last one about the girl's hands. That was exquisite!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cricket on February 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great picture book. My 3rd graders loved it. I heard about it from another teacher who had a wonderful tech and writing activity. I followed the format of the book with the students. Their writings accompanied with their picture made a great bulletin board.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dagny Denten on January 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I use this book to teach a poetry unit to my 4th graders. I take a black/white photo of their "best part" and they write poetry to go with it. They look beautiful on display!
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