Hello, friends! Our book today is The Very First You by Scott Stuart, a joyful celebration of individuality.
In the history of time, there has never been a you – you are the very first you! That makes everything about you special: your laugh, your look, your ideas, and your heart. And because everything about you is so unique, your value is incalculable; if you were missing, there would be a hole in the very universe shaped like you. So appreciate all the extraordinary, incredible things that have made the very first you, and use them to be the best you that you can be.
Affirming. Positive self-concept, identity, and appreciating individuality is a classic yet always-welcome topic for a picture book, and Stuart executes his version pretty well. The rhyming text is bouncy and enjoyable to read aloud, and includes some nice thoughts on expressing our emotions and ideas. The colorful illustrations feature a racially-diverse cast of willowy children, including two male-coded characters that buck gender conformity (one has purple hair, another wears a skirt). The friend groups also features a giant pink octopus that is just a delightfully absurd yet adorable visual. The length is perfect for a story time, and JJ and I enjoyed the read. My one complaint is the possibly Asian-coded character whose skintone reads uncomfortably yellow; it’s clearly not intentional, but it’s noticeable enough to feel weird. Otherwise, this was a fun read with a timeless lesson, and we liked it. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was sent to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)