Hello, friends! Our book today is Love Yourself, written by Sally Chau and illustrated by Julie Chau, a sweet tale of accepting one’s unique qualities.
On the last day of school, Nigel the axolotl is worried about saying goodbye to his fellow salamander friends, but his friends assure him that they will see him again the following fall. When they do, however, they are surprised to find that while they have gone through metamorphosis, Nigel is still as pink and feathery-gilled as ever. His former friends decide that his look is too weird for them now, and abandon poor Nigel. The axolotl is deeply hurt and confused – he looks just the same as he always did! Why do they think he’s too weird for them now? Yet with some help from his human friend Winnie and a little self-confidence, he’ll learn that being different is never wrong, as long as it’s who you truly are.
Lovely, gentle encouragement. Using the fact of the adorable axolotl having different adaptations than most salamander species, Chau is able to make a salient point on both self-acceptance and the value of diversity, as Nigel’s story is both about growing to love himself and learning that his differences make him uniquely skilled. It’s a great lesson, and shines through the unfortunately clunky and unnecessary rhyme scheme of the text. The colorful, cartoonish artwork is incredibly endearing, and readers will fall for the expressive Nigel. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed the positive message and cute characters. Overall, this is a good title for exploring the value in being your own person – or salamander – and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to the Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)