Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali. Simon & Schuster, 2021. 9781534485877 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover 

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? Zubi is all set to go off to her first day of school. She’s jumped out of bed and into her favorite overalls and pink shirt. She feels good, she looks good and she’s ready to go! Then, as she moves through her day she discovers that her nearest and dearest are not happy in the bodies they are in. Her mom (Amma) is caught lamenting her poofy belly. Her dad (Baba) says he’s a bit too big for his shirt. Zubi overhears her sister talking about dieting and the kids on the playground are bullying another girl for being chunky. All turns out well as Amma cuddles Zubi and tells her that she gets to define beauty, not anyone else. Sigh. I am truly grateful for this colorful, boisterous book about a Bangladeshi family learning and growing with their youngest as she comes to terms with body size. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? This is a fantastic book that I would highly recommend reading again and again.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Anyone having any contact with young children should read this book with their cherubs – nursery schools, pre-schools, elementary school, libraries, etc. Dare I say, pediatricians’ should have copies in every one of their offices. Combine this with Bodies are Cool by Tyler Feder for even more to chat about.

Who should buy this book? Nursery schools, pre-schools, elementary schools, libraries, doctor’s offices.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Pam WattsFlavin, Head of Children’s Services, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA.

Date of review: September 15, 2021

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