Kirkus Reviews QR Code
I'M GROWING GREAT by Mechal Renee Roe


by Mechal Renee Roe ; illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-42890-0
Publisher: Doubleday

An empowering picture book sows seeds of positivity and possibility.

The Black and brown young girls who are the stars of this garden-themed motivational manifesto announce their great pride in how well they’re growing—in mindfulness, hopefulness, calmness, self-awareness, and inner strength. Each girl stands contentedly in a different flower garden, sporting a distinctive, elegant natural hairstyle, and dressed gracefully in a feminine outfit. An affirmation appears on each spread (for example “STEADY AS A TREE! / PEACE WITHIN ME!”) in the form of a rhyming couplet set in large capital letters and followed by the mantra “I am growing great!” Some of these declarations—like “EXPLORING MY FEELINGS! / BRINGS KIND HEALING!”—may go over younger children’s heads; however, kids should have no trouble understanding the book’s final statement: “I am born to be great!” While the author’s intent is admirable, the text feels twee and lacks meaningful emotional content. The ebullient, brightly colored, eye-catching illustrations, set against mostly pastel-colored backgrounds, are the real draw here. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Hand this book to girls who might need a boost to their self-esteem, especially girls of color.

(Picture book. 4-8)