Be Your Own Best Friend FOREVER!

7th Generation. Apr. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781939053343.
K-Gr 4–A bold self-love journey inspired by friend of the author and real-life kid Jayla Rose. In this hyper-positive picture book, Jayla is a no-nonsense girl who is proud of her Black, Native American, Asian American, and Latina identity. Jayla has something to say to all young girls out there, so you’d better listen up. Addressing negative self-talk, peer pressure, positive affirmations, and harmful messages girls get from the media, Jayla encourages girls to be their own best friend, offering tips and tricks for loving themselves first and unconditionally. The spare text provides confidence-boosting mantras, as well as simple but concrete ideas for girls on how to reject negative words and ideas: “If your inner voice says those negative things, TURN IT OFF! If your friends tell you those negative things, GET NEW FRIENDS!” Moments of awkward rhyming feel disjointed compared with the bulk of the text, which does not rhyme. Digitally texturized photos of Jayla are superimposed on technicolor, patterned backgrounds for a Pop Art-inspired feel that packs a graphic punch and will appeal to readers of a wide age range.
VERDICT Readers of all backgrounds will cherish and celebrate the relatable, affirming messages that burst from these pages.

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