[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Remarkably you, Remarkably me" by Lavette Shirley Elee.]
4 out of 4 stars Share This Review
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"I will not make myself small to fit in."
"I am beautiful. I am radiant. I am lovely."
Lavette Shirley Elee includes these powerful statements in her confidence-building book for young girls, Remarkably You, Remarkably Me. The book features beautiful illustrations of girls from various races and ethnicities and promotes sisterhood and strength. It is an excellent resource for girls ranging from ages five to twelve.
The professionally edited book coveys such a relevant topic; many girls and teenagers struggle at some point with self-esteem issues. As I turned the pages, it brought back memories of some of my own self-doubts--how I would have appreciated this book as a young girl! Although I haven't ever used the adjective "empowering" to describe a children's book, it is definitely an accurate description. Elee's powerful words emphasize self-assurance, individuality, confidence, strength, intelligence, and celebrating others' achievements rather than feeling threatened.
I particularly like the lovely illustrations featuring a diverse group of girls representing various races. The book includes multiple images of girls of color with different natural hairstyles, a ginger-haired Caucasian, an Asian girl with a shaved head, and a Muslim girl wearing a hijab. Any young girl will relate to both the images and the reassuring statements about appearance, including: "My skin is not too dark" and "My thighs are not too thick."
The images of the girls stand out nicely against white backgrounds surrounded by vibrantly colored borders. On the other hand, the black text against darkly hued pages doesn't show up as well as those with lighter colors. This feature is the only thing I dislike about the book; the black text against a few red pages is visually jarring.
Overall, I rate Remarkably You, Remarkably Me 4 out of 4 stars for its relevant and empowering message. I recommend it particularly to young girls of color. However, the diverse images and universal message will appeal to any girl as well as some teenagers and women. I also recommend the book as a gift for friends and family members desiring to empower the young girls in their lives.