I Can Be...Me!

Lee & Low. Mar. 2023. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781643792057.
K-Gr 2–Children having fun without the onus of expectations is really what this book is about. Any child can aspire to anything, and their gender is not one of the conditions of the outcome. Gender is not named nor is it pivotal in the story or the illustrations in this book. This is about any child playing anywhere, anytime, and every bit of it looks like great fun! Play is the safe space where children explore and make sense of the world around them. And they do! From being space pioneers to baking a birthday cake to digging in the dirt and putting makeup on their faces. In these scenes, all the while they are learning their likes and dislikes, building confidence, and having fun just being a child. The illustrations are colorful and depict children, not boys or girls or intentionally androgynous, just kids!
VERDICT This is an engaging read-aloud told in rhyme where young children can see themselves as they explore and enjoy playing with their friends. Any library wishing to focus on the importance of play will find this book useful.

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