The Picture Book Buzz

Remarkably You - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

February 8, 2019

Outgoing or shy, everyone has been on the outside looking in at some point; trying to figure out how they fit into the world, where their talents and interests lie, or how they can make a difference. It could be as a child discovering what activities they enjoy, a new graduate figuring out what to do next, or an adult changing careers or re-entering the workforce. 

 

Pat Zietlow Miller has done it again. Teaming up with Patrice Barton's lively and sweet illustrations, she's created a joyous celebration of children and their individuality. One that Kirkus called "a book that is sure to bring to mind Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go."

 

 

 

 

Remarkably You

 

Author: Pat Zietlow Miller

 

Illustrator: Patrice Barton

 

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishing (2019)

 

Ages: 4-8

 

Fiction

 

Themes:

Individuality, doing good deeds, respect for self and others, and sharing what your good at.

 

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble):

New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller celebrates individuality in her remarkable picture book about the beauty of being yourself.

 

Heartfelt and timeless, Remarkably You is an inspirational manifesto about all of the things—little or small, loud or quiet—that make us who we are.

 

With encouraging text by Pat Zietlow Miller and exuberant illustrations by Patrice Barton, readers will delight in all the ways they can be their remarkable selves.

 

You might go unnoticed, or shine like a star, 
but wherever you go and whoever you are…
don’t change how you act to be just like the rest.
Believe in yourself and the things you do best.

 

Opening Lines:

You might be bold.

You might be loud.

Leading parades. Drawing a crowd.

 

You might be timid.

You might be shy.

Quietly watching your neighbors go by.

 

What I love about this book:

I fell in love with this book. The cover definitely hooked me, but I was captured by seeing myself, as a kid (and even now), and my family in this book. I see my brother who, as a child, lived in a pair of red cowboy boots, my empathetic sister, and the other brother who can't help but draw. This book will appeal to so many kids, and adults, who not only see themselves in the diversity of the kids, but also in the range of interests and activities portrayed in this book. 

 

Pat and Patrice have created a beautiful ode to the enthusiasm, wonder, and resourcefulness of kids. As a giant hug to the reader, it is a reminder that we are all blessings (gifts), and each one of us is a truly remarkable uniqueness that never existed in the world before. Each with the potential to do great things. 

Text © Pat Zietlow Miller, 2019. Image © Patrice Barton, 2019.

 

While this beautifully diverse and quirky cast explore interests such as art, music, sports, and gardening, they are encouraged to "believe in themselves and the things you do best," and "share their sunshine" by finding ways to address litter, fix broken wagons, and reduce loneliness. 

Text © Pat Zietlow Miller, 2019. Image © Patrice Barton, 2019.

 

It's a wonderful celebration of individuality and acceptance. The rhyming text and vibrant, exciting illustrations convey the message that "wherever you go and whoever you are . . . Don't change how you act to be just like the rest. Believe in yourself and the things you do best." Each of us has an "unparalleled flair" and the ability to make a difference in our community or in the world.  

 Text © Pat Zietlow Miller, 2019. Image © Patrice Barton, 2019.

 

I also love that the book resists stereotypes. There's "a swimmer who knits," "a cellist who cheers," a girl on the baseball team, and a queen with an axe. Additionally, Pat doesn't shy away from using words that will challenge some readers, such as timid, decidedly, and unparalleled. This is a book I could recommend for every library, classroom, and home. One that lends itself to new discoveries with each reading.

 

Team this book up with Be Kind and Wherever You Go also by Pat Zietlow Miller, That Is My Dream! : A Picture Book of Langston Hughes's Dream Variation by Langston Hughes, Mixed by Arree Chung, and Be A Friend by Salina Yoon.

 

Resources:

- write about or draw your favorite activity? How could you use that to help others or the community?

- how are you the same and how are you different from your family and friends? Do you like all the same foods, books, or games?

- can could you think of a way to make a difference in your school or community? Maybe get a bunch of friends to make Valentines', Veterans', or other cards for veterans. Or pick an area and help clean it or build something to make it better; or

- try the other activity sheets by Harper Collins at

 https://d1xcdyhu7q1ws8.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2019/01/09163122/ppsg_act_remarkablyyou.pdf.

 

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

 

If you missed it, check out Pat Zietlow Miller's interview this past Monday (here).

 

 

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