I am Every Good Thing
An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. A perfect gift for any special occasion!
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.
The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through–as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he’s afraid, because he’s so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you–and shows you–who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!
Derrick Barnes wrote the New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten and I Am Every Good Thing, as well as the critically acclaimed multi-award winning picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. He also wrote the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. Derrick is a graduate of Jackson State University, and was the first African American creative copywriter hired by greeting cards giant Hallmark. He is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, but currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their four sons.
Gordon C. James illustrated the critically acclaimed picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (by Derrick Barnes), which received a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, an Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor, the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers, and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. He also illustrated Let 'Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People's Champion (by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson). He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.
Winner of the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award!
* "Page after page of empowering text speaks to energetic children everywhere, as the author-illustrator team behind Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut return with another top-notch celebration of Black boys. The catchy text exudes confidence. . . . Background characters are of various races, but the stars of every page are Black, and they explore, soar, soak up information, and make a difference. The pace slows as the speaker admits he sometimes is afraid of what others call him but refuses to let those attitudes define him. The vibrant illustrations reinforce the energy as groups and individuals share their gifts with the world, including a cameo by Barack Obama. Remembering their ancestors and their fathers, and acknowledging their own strengths, a line of boys gaze at the reader before the book's final declaration. . . . Pulsing rhythms and bright images combine for a worthy and timely choice for every collection."-- School Library Journal, starred review
* "An empowering ode to Black boy joy. In metaphor-driven verse, Barnes moves from the interpersonally specific ('I am that smile forming on your face') to the iconic ('I am a grand slam, / bases fully loaded'), and from the naturalistic ('I am waves crashing gently on the shore') to the historical ('I am my ancestors' wildest dream'). Employing rich textures and jewel tones in his fine art style, James paints Black boys of varying skin tones and ages engaging in work and play, solo and in community. . . . Together, James's energetic portraiture and Barnes's affirming text powerfully and ecstatically convey the idea that all Black boys are 'worthy/ to be loved.'"-- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "This first-person self-affirmation celebrates the multiple wonders of young Black boys. . . . Barnes' playful, potent style draws on inviting metaphor to lift this well above the usual supportive picture book celebration, and the zippy turns of phrase prompt affectionate and personal reading aloud. James' fluid, painterly oils show a gallery of young boys brimming over with magnificence, whether they're swinging at a pitch, peering through a microscope, or beaming a dimpled smile out at the viewer; even the tender and quiet compositions have a dynamism that suggests a moment caught in an active life. The book's powering of listeners to move past outside voices that diminish will be particularly welcome, and this will speak to audiences too young for Black Is King." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
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