Monday, September 24, 2018

Enough Already!

Picture Book: I Am Enough
Author: Grace Byers
Illustrator: Keturah A. Bobo
Summary: This striking book is a celebration of loving who you are and embracing the many and varied aspects of you. A repeated pattern of similes are used: "Like the ___, I'm ___." Here is a smattering of this book's messages and illustrations.  
Like the sun, I'm here to shine. 
Like the voice, I'm here to sing.
Like the bird, I'm here to fly and soar high over everything. 
There's some paradox in the pairing of similes. 
Like the champ, I'm here to fight. 
AND Like the heart, I'm here to love. 
Learning 
and racing are important pursuits 
as well as supporting those who cry because a race doesn't go well. 
Respecting others' differences, opinions, and gifts is an important message here. 
Differences in appearance are worthy of notice and celebration, but each person's worth comes from much more than that. 
In the end, it is enough to "live a life of love, not fear" 
and know that each of us is enough.
Hanna’s Comments: The similes here are mostly abstract and will require concrete examples and exploration for young audiences. You may know the other work of this author. Grace Byers is an actor on Empire. She wrote this book to tool girls against bullying, but it offers all girls (and boys) an opportunity to be reminded of their resilience, while emphasizing kindness. Yes, there are only girls in this book. Don't let that keep you from sharing it with boys. Girls often experience media with no girls present. It's beneficial for boys to have such experiences. It builds empathy and understanding across gender lines. We all want and need more of that.
Original Publisher & Date: Balzer & Bray, 2018
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Audio CD
Scripture Connections: Scriptures about inner strength or God's presence in us such as Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 4o:31, Isaiah 41:10, or Philippians 4:13; Made in God's image (Genesis 1:27); Let us run with endurance the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1b); Blessed is the one who remains steadfast under trial (James 1:12); Behold what manner of love God has given us that we should be called the children of God. (1 John 3:1)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to an elementary class and talk specifically about how each child present has been blessed with resilient qualities thanks to being a unique child of God, made in God's image, for the betterment of the world. In other words, all are blessed to be a blessing.