Pat Zietlow Miller, you have done it again. You’ve written another book that I fell in love with immediately, from the very first page. You may know Miller from her stellar book Be Kind (you can read my Instagram review here)— and if you don’t know that book, then run and get your hands on it quickly. Be Kind is one every home and classroom library should have! We also love The Quickest Kid in Clarksville (featured in my Black History Month post here), Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story (featured in my Instagram Thanksgiving post here), Wherever You Go (we received this one in a Bookroo box a few years ago and still love it), and the Sophie’s Squash series. You can bet I’m super excited about When You Are Brave, releasing next week! But, back to today’s featured book, Remarkably You.
Written in rhyming verse, Remarkably You reminds children that they will all have different gifts, skills, and passions, and that this diversity is truly amazing. It is through this diversity of talents that our world becomes a better place, after all! Miller encourages children to find what they’re good at and understand how they can give to their communities to make a change. I also love her messages about sticking with whatever your gifts or passions are, even if they’re different from those around them, as well as encouraging children to find multiple talents (she’s got a page showcasing “a swimmer who knits. A cellist who cheers. / A mutt-loving cat cuddler who volunteers.”). Yes, kiddos, you can do amazing things! You can be excited about hobbies that don’t interest your friends! And you can give in more ways that one! Thanks, Pat, for reminding children of the power of being themselves.
And Patrice Barton, your illustrations are so fun, happy, accessibly simple, and diverse! Any child will identify with your characters, and adults will appreciate how relatable they are… These are simply children doing what brings them joy, contributing however they can, and showing off their talents as children should. Yet, these children aren’t perfect. We can see the effort they’re exerting, and how sometimes they make mistakes. We see that sometimes they need help from friends to fix a problem, sometimes they make a mess, and sometimes they’re frustrated or sad. Rather than showcasing children who seem to be prodigies roller skating or drawing, these children seem real. They’re working, they’re learning, and they’re loving what they do.
In the end, Miller reminds readers, “You are a blessing, a promise, a prize. / You’re capable, caring, courageous, and wise. / You might go unnoticed or shine like a star. / But wherever you go and whoever you are… / Don’t change how you act to be just like the rest. / Believe in yourself and the things you do best. / So whether you’re daring or careful or kind, / embrace who you are and the way you’re designed.”
Publishers recommend Remarkably You for ages 4-8, but I think many younger children would also enjoy this one too, given the illustrations and rhyming verse.
If you liked this, check out:
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon