I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

I like myself, I’m glad I’m me. There’s no one else I’d rather be.

These are words from Karen Beaumont’s book, I Like Myself, illustrated by David Catrow. I love his work. What I love even more is the fact that the little girl in the book is brown like me and Phillise. When I was younger, I didn’t see a lot of characters that looked like me  on t.v., or as the starring character in a book.

beaumont.jpgPhillise requests this book over and over again. I’m glad that she does. When I first bought the book for her last year, I gave it to her to see what she would say.

She said, “Mommy look. The girl is brown like me.”

From the time that she was real little, I always stressed the fact that she was brown and that she is beautiful. My mother didn’t tell me stuff like this. When I was little, I had a bad self-image. I didn’t even like brown crayons. I thought that brown was one of the ugliest crayons in the box. I rarely ever used it. I never equated that with the dislike of my own brown skin.

I didn’t know that I was brown until I saw my first teacher, Ms. Correll. Her bright white skin was in direct contrast to my dark brown skin. When I saw her, my five year old little mind decided that she was clean and I was dirty. My mother never explained to me that I was brown because of the melanin in my skin; that brown is just as beautiful as any other color. I thought that something was surely wrong with me. Although I have learned to love myself, it took me a little while to be comfortable with my brown skin; an even longer time to love it.

That is why I taught Phillise from the beginning that even though we’re referred to as black, that we are brown and that it’s beautiful. I know that it took a long time to get to the point of why I loved the book, but sometime a little bit of background information is necessary. I didn’t want to come off as one of those people who only like those who look like them ’cause that is not the case. I just want my daughter to have a healthy sense of self; to love her beautiful brown skin. This way I figure that she has a head start on me when I was her age. That is why I was so proud that she could see a character like herself in the book and think that it is beautiful.

The little girl in the book loves herself no matter what she looks like. Even if she has a long snout; or if her tongue is purple; or if her face is polka-dotted; or if her hair looks crazy like Phillise’s does after I wash it.

Even though the main character of the book is brown, it doesn’t matter. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to help their little girl’s self-esteem whether she’s brown, yellow,or white. The message is timeless-love yourself.

Read this book to your little girl until she can read it by herself. This is the perfect book for your little girl to read by herself when she’s in about first or second grade. Even then, still read it to her.
I give this book *****/***** stars. The message is timeless, the illustrations are beautiful. It’s just an overall good book.

Check it out!

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3 Responses

  1. Hey Leila,

    I love this book! I purchased it a couple years ago for G. I purchased it and personalized “I like me” books for his entire 1st grade class by a group that tries to foster good self-esteem. The parents and teacher not only went crazy over it, but the kids got a kick out of reading a book about themselves and seeing the names of their friends. I think the site is ilikeme.org.

  2. Thanks for the info on the personalization. I think I’ll get one for David and Phillise.

  3. […] I Like Myself, by Karen Beaumont, is one of the cutest books ever. I love this book because it teaches self-esteem. When I first read the book, it reminded me of my little girl, Phillise. There’s this picture in the book where the little girl in the book gets her hair washed and it’s sticking straight up. Kinda’ scary looking. It so reminded me of Phillise’s hair when I wash it. Although I love that the little girl is brown, your audience doesn’t have to be. The message is loud & clear- love yourself no matter what you look like. […]

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