An incredibly important picture book that shouts to black boys that they are worthy, valued and most definitely loved.
There is a young black boy. He epitomises goodness and kindness. He is a scholar and a gentleman. He is polite and helpful. He is happy, he is funny, he is friendly. He is creative, he has questions, he has answers, he is keen to learn and grow. He gazes into his future, a future in which he sees big plans. He suffers setbacks but he gets back up. He will be successful. He loves his family and he will always be there for them and he knows they will always be there for him. And there is no doubt that he deserves to be loved…
I Am Every Good Thing is a powerful and moving picture book filled with positivity. It is all about black boys embracing who they are and to know that no matter what others may say they are most definitely every good thing. Black boys need to know that they are, like the boy in this book, who they say they are and are not defined by the words of others.
The poem, that is narrated by a young black boy, reads as a set of life-affirming statements and positive affirmations. And it should leave black children feeling confident, strong and self-assured that they can succeed and forge their own path in the world. Whilst the book is incredibly positive, the boy is aware that life is not always easy and that there may well be some bumps along the way.
The visuals are as powerful as the text, Gordon C James’ sweeping brushstrokes create striking scenes. Vibrant colours create energetic spreads and many scenes will elicit strong emotions in the reader.
Black children need to see themselves represented in picture books and this one is superb. Will empower black children everywhere.
Recommended for 6+.