Natural Me

HarperCollins. Jan. 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780358695219.
K-Gr 3–The text is based on a song recorded by the Ghanaian rap artist MzVee called “Natural Me.” A message of positivity featuring a young Black girl who loves herself, in all her naturalness. She is happy with her body, a “first-rate version of herself.” She is a natural girl who realizes that she is as important inside as what she demonstrates outside. She is loving, caring, and “not perfect but perfectly me.” Checo’s illustrations are sharp and detailed with fine lines, elements of light, and exquisite skin tones. Her depictions of Afro-textured hair are gorgeous and flawlessly realistic. The subjects are playfully dressed with modest expressions of happiness and contentment without overstatement. The text reads a bit like song lyrics rather than a cohesive narrative, but the message resonates.
VERDICT A delightfully illustrated book and welcome addition to libraries to promote positive messages of self-empowerment among girls.

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