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Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite
Proud to be Me by Kim Farrell features a caring and smart bee named Buzz who lives in the jungle and is surrounded by a variety of animal friends. With the help of his trusty hand mirror, he encourages his friends who have different shapes, heights, colors, and sizes to see their real beauty inside and out, whether they be a giraffe, alligator, or hippo. He empowers them by positively identifying the benefits of their unique physical features. By letting them see their true selves, his friends start appreciating who they are and believe in their worth. Buzz helps them to recognize that they are complete as they are and that they don't have to compare themselves with others or feel inadequate. The author also provides free resources and activities that expand on the concept of developing self-confidence.
Proud to be Me by Kim Farrell can help counteract the pressure of keeping up with the unrealistic and false images perpetuated by a society that can be unhealthy and even harmful to our physical and mental health. The book encourages the young to discover who they are and that learning about their unique aspects is a practice in self-acceptance that can help them in later life. The brilliant and colorful illustrations by Ada Konewki enhance the material. Together with the story, the artwork promotes a sense of self-worth and amazement that one sees and feels through its diverse animal characters. Its appealing design and simple yet descriptive text make this work an engaging read for children. It's a recommended read-along for young readers and serves as reference material for parents and caregivers who want the growth process to be an experience that gives children belief in their self-worth and abilities.