I Believe I Can
I Believe I Can
Bookroo3.8 / 7Goodreads4.1 / 5
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I Believe I Can

Written by Grace Byers & illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
Published by Balzer + Bray
Prices as of Jun 19

What Does Bookroo Think of I Believe I Can

A sweet message of self worth with rhymes and illustrations that struggle at moments.

Featuring a sweet message from writer and actress Byers about valuing oneself, I Believe I Can progresses through a series of illustrations of children in action. In the opening pages, two kids pretend to be pirates using cardboard boxes. In other pages, a boy and a girl dress up in costumes. There are kids gardening, kids playing on a playground, and kids practicing ballet. In each scene, the children share positive affirmations related to self worth. “Grounded firm, I’m like the soil. / Like the sky, I’m boundless too. / When I believe in myself, / there’s simply nothing I can’t do.” The children depicted are a pointedly diverse group: along with the ethnic diversity the children display, they also possess a wide range of physical characteristics. There are notable examples of weight and size differences, one girl with no hair who may be a cancer survivor, and children who wear glasses, use wheelchairs, and sign—a nod perhaps to Byer’s own growing up in a home with deaf parents. Byer’s rhyming and cadence is powerful at times but struggles as well. “I may not win at all I do. / I may experience defeat. / But I’ll dust off and try again / to be the best that I can be.” Indeed, readers may even be slow to pick up that the story features rhymes as the first rhyme is “deep” and “peak.” Bobo’s illustrations fill solid white pages with colorful depictions of active children, but some look particularly basic with angle and proportions to characters’ bodies that feel amateurish.

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What Has Grace Byers Said About This Book

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What Has Keturah A. Bobo Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
March 3, 2020
Reading Age
4 - 8 years

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Core Score - 48%

Still needs the basics.

Depth Score - 15%

Just the barebones.

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