This picture book celebrates bodies in such a positive and inclusive way. The amount of inclusivity is inspiring, offering various races, skin colors, and sizes. The people depicted are also a variety of ages and abilities. Accessibility tools are depicted just as openly and frankly as freckles, body hair and curves. The book shows an urban community full of different people. They move to different settings like dance class, painting a mural, and spending time outside or at the pool. Through those, we see their bodies in various positions, using different assistive aids, and showing LGBT families and people as well.
The text in the book celebrates so much that people sometimes are ashamed of. That includes “soggy tummies” or “scrawny legs” as well as scars, hair, skin, eyes and faces. Every page ends with the line “Bodies are cool!” to remind us all that we are in bodies that may be unique and different but also share qualities with one another and all are equally cool as the others.
The illustrations are key to the success of the book. With the celebratory tone, the illustrations embrace diversity and community. I particularly love the ice cream parlor where all of the people with freckles, moles and patches eat matching ice cream. The entire book is a sweet joy.
Get this one in every public library to celebrate all the bodies in your community. Appropriate for ages 2-5.
Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti (9780711252424)
With a clear focus on self-acceptance and body positivity, this nonfiction picture book celebrates all girls and young women. The book is filled with images of girls of all sizes, races, religions and abilities. Readers are told to start loving their bodies now, not waiting. Bodies are more than just there to be admired: they are strong and active no matter their size or shape. The book encourages readers to make a list of what they appreciate about their body, offering help and ideas. The book then recommends that if that did not help it might be a good idea to seek help from an adult or organization. Self care is also emphasized along with dressing your body the way it feels best to you. Self-love is a process, and this book shows a clear way forward.
Sanders’ text is clear and fierce. She demands that readers take action, not see themselves as objects, and deeply understand that no matter our size, race or ability that our bodies are ours to treasure and celebrate. The focus on self kindness and self care is an important one, nicely moving readers away from perfectionism towards habits that will serve them well for their entire lives.
The illustrations are tremendous. I particularly love the groups of girls and young women gathered together in their underwear and fully clothed. It’s a visual sisterhood, a commitment to loving ourselves and one another. The girls throughout the book are diverse and active. I particularly appreciate that it is often the larger girls as well as those of different abilities who are doing the activities.
Fierce, kind and compassionate, this book insists that all girls are valued. Appropriate for ages 5-7.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Frances Lincoln.