4 out of 4 stars
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I Am Awesome by Ryan K. Maule is a children’s picture book about having self-confidence. Grace and Zeal are two of the inventor’s creations who live in Goodland. Whenever one invention asks another how they are doing, they always reply, “I am good!” One day, Grace and Zeal meet Hope, a new invention, and they ask, “How are you today?” When Hope responds, “I am awesome!”, the two inventions are confused. They rush to ask the inventor if Hope’s response is a mistake, or if they might, in fact, be awesome.
This is a beautiful book with a fun, simple story. I liked the straightforward nature of the lesson, which teaches that, because we are made in God’s image, we are awesome like He is. The author doesn’t over-explain this point, choosing instead to use the inventor as a symbol for God and the inventions as representations of us. The message is clear without being cheesy, and I could see lots of children enjoying this book.
I don’t feel that I could write a good review of this book without mentioning the wonderful illustrations by L.M. Phang. They allowed me to imagine the inventions at play and gave me an image of the kind, caring inventor. These beautiful pictures reminded me of watercolor paintings and gave Goodland a sense of both familiarity and wonder.
My only complaint about this book is that the author could have incorporated the words with the illustrations more. There are very few pages which contain both words and an illustration, and those were some of my favorite ones. Compared to the pages with pictures on them, the ones that only contained words felt plain and unfinished.
Despite this small complaint, I would still rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. From the great writing to the awesome illustrations, I would recommend this book for any kid needing a confidence boost. Since I only found a couple of errors (on the About the Author page), I feel confident in telling parents that this is a truly professional work. The reading level is appropriate for beginning readers, who might need a little help, and intermediate readers, who could probably tackle this book on their own. I think this would be a great book to read out loud to little kids, as it could open up a conversation about how awesome they are!
I Am Awesome!
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