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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There are so many things that make a person beautiful and these things have nothing to do with physical appearance. For example, people are beautiful when they are kind and caring, when they laugh, when they are learning, when they share, when they allow their imagination to take them anywhere, when they try. The list is endless, and not a single item on the list has anything to do with winning a beauty contest. The famous old saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is only one way of pointing out that simple fact. For children, they need the reassurance that everything they do, everything that is positive, makes them look beautiful in so many ways.
Stefanie Fields’ picture book story, You’re Beautiful When, takes this very difficult concept and expands it with exceptional illustrations that carry the concept throughout. Taking a multitude of possible beauty elements and molding them with an appropriate illustration by Phyllis Howard, she presents this difficult concept in a way so that a young reader might comprehend the true meaning of beauty. Each illustration uses a different baby animal (or a combination of animals) to help make the concept more understandable. For example: “You’re beautiful when you’re loving/ your inner light shines so bright” is accompanied by an illustration of a baby bunny snuggling up to a fawn. And: “You’re beautiful when you’re believing/ Hold on tight, it strengthens your path” is accompanied by a young koala bear clinging tight to a tree branch. A beautiful book, a treasure to share with young readers.