By: Trevor D.
Illustrated by: Christina Rudenko
Publisher: Kia Harris Juniors
Publication Date: November 2019
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Get ready for your little readers to meet one precocious and adorable young man in author Trevor D.'s debut children's book, I Am Me.
On page one of I Am Me, we meet Jayden, an African American boy with a big smile and confidence oozing off the page. He tells his readers:
I am Jayden.
I am me!
No one can be me.
No, not like me!
Jayden continues by telling kids about his eyes, nose, fingers and toes (in a nice flowing rhyme). He also explains that his skin is brown, just like his parents' and his best friend's. We soon learn a lot about the star of this book, and all he can do. He works very hard, loves to sing, and while he's very successful at what he does, Jayden is clear that he never has to cheat to get ahead. Still oozing confidence, Jayden delivers my favorite lines in the story:
I am pretty cool.
No, I am not shy.
My barber says,
he thinks I am fly.
I Am Me is the first book in a planned series by author Trevor D. to empower African American boys. This underserved market definitely needs more books like this to show them how special they are and open up a world of possibilities. The message is incredibly hopeful and through Jayden, readers will realize a very positive self-image. Jayden doesn't mince words when he talks about how special he is and that's one message we need to hear more about. The text is very simple and while the book's Amazon page lists the reading level as 4 to 8, I believe that even younger boys would benefit from this story. The illustrations by Christina Rudenko are bright and playful and blend nicely with the story to hold one's attention. I Am Me is an excellent start to what promises to be a popular series to empower young African American boys. I look forward to reading the next book in this series!
Quill says: Jayden is one cool guy and if you have a little one you'd like to grow up strong and self-assured like him, add this book to your child's bedtime reading list.