Today’s book review is for Feel Confident!, written by Cheri J. Meiners, illustrated by Elizabeth Allen, published by Free Spirit Publishing. I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Feel Confident! is another installment in the “Being the Best Me!” series. I previously reviewed Be Positive!, which is part of the same series. The series is intended to help children learn character development skills. In this volume, they are guided through building self-confidence.
The text is once again written as a series of first person affirmations. Although this is a picture book, it’s not a story, so much as it’s a self-improvement guide where the advice unfolds over the course of a fictional day. While these “I” statements might feel a little silly to cynical adults, I think they’re much more effective with the target audience of pre-school and early elementary aged children. One thing that bothered me in this volume was the assumption that all children are able-bodied. One of the pages talks about celebrating all that that “my body can do” and then goes on to mention jumping, dancing and running–which are activities that many who use wheelchairs cannot do. While I understand that books aren’t always sensitive to these situations, I had expectations that this one would be, given that it is sensitive to so many other issues.
The illustrations are, once again, pleasant but generic. Children will probably enjoy them though, and connect with the characters depicted on the page. Allen provides thoughtful examples to compliment the text on the page.
The book also includes four pages of extension activities at the end, so that caregivers and educators can reinforce the ideas expressed in the main text. There are discussion questions, vocabulary lists, activities and games to explore.
I’m giving this book 3 out of 5 stars, which is one star less than the volume I previously reviewed. Why? Well, probably if I’d read them in reverse, the ratings would be reversed. The thing is, they just felt too similar to me. Many of the affirmations in Be Positive! could have been used in Feel Confident!, and vice versa. I can’t even fully remember in which of the books some of them did actually appear. They just sort of blend together into one larger book to me. Still, the book provides a good message and would be a great resource in the classroom to encourage character development.
You can find more information about this book, including other reviews, at Goodreads.