The Definitive Guide to

I Believe I Can

Written by Grace Byers & illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
Published by Balzer + Bray
3.75 / 7.0
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Goodreads Rating - 4.2 / 5.0
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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.

What's I Believe I Can About

Publisher Summary

From the New York Times bestselling creators of I Am Enough comes an empowering follow-up that celebrates every child’s limitless potential.

I Believe I Can is an affirmation for boys and girls of every background to love and believe in themselves.

Actress and activist Grace Byers and artist Keturah A. Bobo return with another gorgeously illustrated new classic that’s the perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, or just for reading at home again and again.

My presence matters in this world. I know I can do anything, if only I believe I can.

What Kind of Book is I Believe I Can

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
3.5 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
4.0 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include I Believe I Can

Book Topics › self-esteem
Children's Books About Self-esteem
Book Topics › social themes
Children's Books About Social Themes
Book Topics › African Americans
Children's Books About African Americans
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
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Who Wrote I Believe I Can

Grace Byers

Grace Byers is an actress and activist whose breakout role was in Fox’s smash hit series Empire and who also starred on Marvel’s The Gifted. As a multiracial girl and CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Grace was bullied throughout her childhood, which inspired her first picture book, the New York Times bestseller I Am Enough—an ode to the empowerment of young girls. In her spare time, Grace volunteers with the nonprofit antibullying organization Saving Our Daughters. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Trai Byers.

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Who Illustrated I Believe I Can

Keturah A. Bobo

Keturah A. Bobo is an artist whose dedication to creating vibrant images that depict diversity has gained her attention worldwide. She graduated with a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and lives in Ohio with her family of entrepreneurs. She is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Am Enough. Visit

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What Has Grace Byers Said About I Believe I Can

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Grace know that you want more details about I Believe I Can!

What Has Keturah A. Bobo Said About I Believe I Can

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Keturah know that you want more details about I Believe I Can!

Grace Byers's Book Dedication

To us all: There will always be one person who might not believe in you; let that person never be you. X

Keturah A. Bobo's Book Dedication

To my brothers, Jaryah and Shamir, and all those who believe in love and optimism despite the world making you feel as though you cannot

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Book Details

Publication Date:
March 3, 2020

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Core Score - 48%
Still needs the basics.
Depth Score - 15%
Just the barebones.
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