Looking like me by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers
I looked in the mirror
and what did I see?
A real handsome dude
looking just like me.
There's nothing like starting out on a strong, affirming foot. Let's just put it out there, son - I am a good looking guy. And things are just going to get better from there. My sister comes along and tells me I am a brother. My teacher calls me a writer. I look in the mirror and call myself a talker. Fist bumps all around.
This big bold boy-centric anthem is illustrated with strong, bright-colored collage images - wild animals, city buildings, and images from non-Western culture underlay graphic silhouettes of young men in motion, implying the threads of civilized and wild culture that weave together to make a boy. Extra fist bump to my boy Christopher for using a picture of the gorilla diorama at the American Museum of Natural History. That silverback gets around.
This is exactly the read-aloud for the strongest, most confident read-aloud-er you know. My friend Kate, for example. You need the rhythm and flow of a Nikki Giovanni or a Jacqueline Woodson to read this book aloud. But you need nothing but fifteen minutes and an open mind to read it to yourself.
One cautious note: I held out my fist for a bump with a little boy not too long ago, and, not hip to the procedure, the kid hauled off and punched my fist as hard as he could. Didn't hurt me much, but ne nearly broke his fingers on my rings. So, if you're going to do the fist bumps along with Walter Dean and Christopher, make sure everybody knows - a real man is gentle.