Be Bold, Baby!: Michelle Obama (Alison Oliver)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Be Bold, Baby!: Michelle Obama by Alison Oliver, an adorable and inspirational board book primer for the 44th First Lady.

Be bold. Be brilliant! Be an ally. Be inspired by the ones you love, be encouraging of the ones you inspire in return. These motivational statements are accompanied on each page with an illustration that follows former First Lady Michelle Obama through her life of accomplishment: from eager student (“Be brilliant!”) to powerful lawyer and urban works organizer, to young mother (“Be loving.”), to health and education activist as First Lady and beyond (“Be inspirational.”). Also included are a smattering of quotes from Michelle and a short, toddler-friendly biography in the back. The book concludes with a mirror for little readers to see themselves, with the most important sentiment of all: “Be you!”

Lovely! The simple, bold rallying cries of the text pair nicely with the vibrantly colorful illustrations, which use simple color- and pattern-block shapes to construct engaging characters and scenes. The quotes included are well-chosen, though I could have stood to have seen a few more with broader appeal; “I want to be this really fly 80-, 90-year old,” is a fun quote, but she‘s said a great many other things about the importance of physical fitness that might be a bit more inspiring to young readers. However, the abundance of unabashed girl power more than makes up for it. It’s even a nice touch that Barack is only mentioned briefly at the end of the bio – Michelle is so often tied in people’s minds to him and his accomplishments, it’s nice that this book solely focuses on all the work she has done and achievements she has made all on her own. The length is great, the mirror is a great touch that the youngest readers will love, and JJ and I both enjoyed it greatly. Baby Bookworm approves!