I Am a Masterpiece!

Random. Jan. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593567975.
PreS-Gr 4–Mia Armstrong boldly asserts her self-confidence with a compelling opening line: “I have Down syndrome, and I like myself exactly as I am.” In first-person narrative, she reflects on being patient when other people forget their manners. She emphasizes the beauty in uniqueness and says it “would be boring if we were all the same!” Armstrong illustrates this by recounting a school project where she and her classmates are tasked with creating self-portraits. While her classmates draw pictures of their physical appearances, Armstrong expresses how she feels and how she sees the world with shades of blue. Despite initial confusion from her classmates, Armstrong explains why she drew it that way and they understand right away because “kids are faster than grown-ups about these kinds of things. Which is lucky for me.” A concluding Q&A about Down syndrome culminates in a whimsical cartoon-style conversation among children. The vibrant gouache and colored pencil illustrations not only breathe life into the scenes, which come off as lived experience, but also showcase a diverse array of background characters. A touching and unique story about accepting oneself and others.
VERDICT A great first purchase for libraries.

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