Grace Byers is an actor and activist who stars in Fox’s hit series Empire. As a multiracial young girl and a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Grace was bullied throughout her childhood. This book was born out of her desire to empower young girls against the effects of bullying. In her spare time, she volunteers with the nonprofit antibullying organization Saving Our Daughters. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Trai Byers. I Am Enough is her first book.
The 2018 Goodreads Picture Book Winner! Congrats, Grace Byers!
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #7 of 2018. Note that Lyra LOVES this book, and the rest of us, not so much; because of her high rating, I bump the family rating up to 3 from my 2 stars.
Lyra (11): 5 stars! I like how it shows how we are all different on the outside, we all have many similarities on the inside. I love the meaning of the story. Very inspiring.
Hank (12): 2.5 stars. It's okay, I guess.
Harry (13): 2 stars. Like Mom, I really like the last five pages. The rest of it was just okay for me.
Jenn (family friend): 2 stars. I respect and commend the author on writing a book with his message, but the text was not that impressive. For instance, "Like the rain, I'm here to pour and drip and fall until I'm full." ??? A great example of forced rhyme. And the art didn't really capture my imagination, either.
Tara: 3 stars. I like the message of the last five or so pages. The rest just so-so.
Dave: 2 stars. A poem meant to be inspirational, with okay drawings. Not original or distinctive to me.
I love this story about self-empowerment. The title says it all - “I am enough”. It is a simple beginning story about everything you can be and do because you are different and yet we are all the same too.
It’s so well done. There are a few lines per page and it’s simple for children, yet it’s taking some important life concepts and making it easy to understand. I love the artwork and how the hair on this child is different on many pages. I love that big hair. I like the positive message.
Now the nephew is a different story. Nothing happens he told me. The kids stand around and talk, or they run a race, or jump rope. There are no monsters, no magic, nothing exciting happens. He said it was like being on the playground, only boring. Right now, the only way to him is to have something strange in the tale to grab his interest, I suppose. He gave this 2 stars. He’s into Pokemon at the moment and he also said they could have used that style like the pokemon people and made it more exciting too.
Judging by the star rating on this book, I can see that I am in the minority. However, I was disappointed - hoping this book was something it was not, I guess. When I saw the title of this book and the synopsis, I was hopeful that it was a book I could use at church children's program to open a discussion of being happy with who you are. I did not find it to be so. The content was VERY simplistic and not really, in my opinion, supportive of the idea of promised by the title. "Like the voice, I'm here to sing...Like the bird, I'm here to fly and soar high over everything..." It never really touches on any of the issues that might have a child feeling that they are not enough. The illustrations are nice and the poem is ok... I just felt that the title was misleading. I write this review to help others who might purchase it/seek it out with the same expectations I had.
Just the fabulous cover is enough to make me fall in love with this book. It's a list of reminders for all of us, reminders that we are good enough just as we are. The text is a lovely mix of prose and rhyme to satisfy, with enough similes to work as an ideal read aloud for any simile lesson.
This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!
Hello, friends! Our book today is the wonderfully empowering I Am Enough, written by Grace Byers and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo, a girl-power celebration for all shapes, sizes, and skin tones.
“Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” the rhyming text begins, and each page that follows offers an affirmation of all the strength, talent, and promise that young girls have within them. While praising their inherent strengths and virtues, the text also encourages girls to show kindness, to be fighters, and to accept their fellow female for who she is, and embrace all the unique qualities that make her that way. And no matter what, to know that no matter what the world expects of her or tells her she must be, she needs only to remind herself of the truth: “I am enough.”
Oh, but we do love a great girl-power book, and this one is PHENOMENAL. The text does a great job of encouraging girls to embrace who they are, both physically and personally; to support other women; to not be afraid of their strength or their empathy. The illustrations then bring the message to another level; there are girls of every color, every build, every ability, girls with hijabs, girls in wheelchairs – an absolute rainbow of young women working together, showing each other as friends and supporters. The one thing often missing from female-empowerment kidlit is diversity, but not here, and there IS a girl that looks like your little bookworm in this book. The length was great, and JJ adored it. This is one that should be on every girl’s shelf, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
A very good poetic picture book with lessons for life and with a very big message : Whoever you are , whatever you have , wherever you belong , always try try to be the best be it work , life , relationship etc. etc. because you are enough. You can always do it and every time you fall anywhere, you stand much more stronger and brighter.
Thought I'd like this one more, but it was just ok. Nice ending of being different from each other, but all good enough. I'm not sure it's entertaining enough for kids to really love it, though parents will like the message. The pictures were nicely done and inclusive.
Although this exquisite children's picture book is intended for young girls, I recommend this beautifully written book to all book lovers. The lush, adorable, and elegant artwork and empowering themes are fantastic. This book's immediate goal is to promote unity, diversity, acceptance, understanding and compassion, and most importantly, love. I read this slim book in one day and I loved all the positive messages. I loved the importance of getting along with other people despite our differences. This book makes you smile and feel good because no one is perfect and everyone is beautiful, unique, and we are truly enough. Marvelous debut book from actress Grace Byers!
I Am Enough is a picture book of girl empowerment. The illustrations are diverse; representing girls from all walks of life. I'm not sure if the poem will resignate with everyone, but the last seven pages are meaningful. This book teaches self-respect, respect for others and kindness.
A celebration of young girls, their many gifts and abilities, and their relations with one another, I Am Enough pairs a poetic text from actress Grace Byers with gorgeous artwork from debut illustrator Keturah A. Bobo.
Although I am not always a fan of celebrity-authored children's books, and am sometimes skeptical about the ethical clarity of titles meant to inculcate self-esteem (I sometimes feel they emphasize feeling at the expense of ethics), I nevertheless really enjoyed I Am Enough. I found the narrative engaging and thought-provoking, and appreciated the way it emphasized the good qualities of a diverse range of girls, rather than just one, and highlighted the way those girls interacted with one another. I also really enjoyed the artwork, which I found just beautiful. This is Keturah A. Bobo's debut, and I certainly hope to see more from her! Recommended to anyone looking for excellent new picture-books addressing the themes of self esteem, and mutual respect and kindness.
Well, It's nothing more a cliche. We are different. We have abilities, in spite of our skins, cultures, tongues and origins. So what? The racism is stronger than all these solid words. Racism has deaf ears. The poem hasn't any inspirational perspectives. Even the picturing was not that much inspirational or effective. I'm putting it right here:
Like the sun, I'm here to shine Like the voice, I'm here to sing Like the bird, i'm here to fly and soar high over everything Like the trees, I'm here to grow Like the mountains, here to stand Like time, I'm here to be and be everything I can Like the champ, I'm here to fight Like the heart, I'm here to love Like a ladder, here to climb and like the air, to rise above Like the wind, I'm here to push Like a rope, I'm here to pull Like the rain, I'm here to pour and drip and fall until I'm full Like the moon, I'm here to dream Like the student, here to learn Like the water, here to swell Like the fire, here to burn Like the winner, I'm here to win and if I don't, get up again. I know that I may sometimes cry, but even then, I'm here to try I'm not meant to be like you you're not meant to be like me Sometimes we will get along and sometimes we will disagree I know that we don't look the same our skin, our eyes, our hair, our frame But that does not dictate our worth we both have places on earth And in the end, we are right here to live a life of love, not fear... To help each other when it's tough to say together: I am enough
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I like this book. I like what it is meant to do, to be, and the children it is created for. But I really think this book could be so much more. The rhyming narrative is nice and the illustrations, created using "acrylic paint on board, scanned into Adobe Photoshop with digital chalk backgrounds," are wonderfully diverse and emotive.
But I just don't know if this one will appeal to children. The lyrical narrative is empowering and affirmative, but that is the entire purpose, not to entertain or to subtly show diversity and ability in an anecdotal way.
I get the impression that this is the kind of book that teachers, parents, reviewers, and academics will praise and fawn over, but children will mostly ignore in favor of something far less 'worthy.'
Maybe I'm wrong. And maybe the image of a young African-American girl on the cover will be enough to inspire children (the girls at least) to look further. I hope so. It's a good book. Just not great.
April 2023 update: The cover image drew me in again and I wanted to read the book. I had forgotten that I'd read it before and gave it a shot. But as I read it, I got the feeling I'd already read the book and had the same 'meh' feelings as before. Good, not great.
Thanks to the Kidlit Exchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
I AM ENOUGH contrasts the different sides of us—the hard and soft, the peaceful and wild, the right-side-up and the upside-down. The book invites every girl to be herself and love herself, while honoring her differences from others. No matter who you are, you are enough. A wonderful picture book for all girls and all kids.
Cute enough as a picture book, all about confidence and knowing your place in the world using similes, like the trees I'm here to grow, that kind of thing. And the multi-ethnic cast of kids is well drawn. But we see this concept a lot and there doesn't seem to be much here to make this one any different, plus some of the lines are a stretch...like the winner I'm here to win? Nothing wrong at all with the book, just doesn't stand out.
Talk about an empowering book. This is the kind of book you want your child to memorize; the kind you read to them every night as they fall asleep. I love, love, love the words. The pictures - meh. That's why this is a four star for me. I LOVE the cover of the book, but the art feels stilted and the kids don't feel life-like in the rest of the illustrations. SO - 4 stars instead of 5.
My heart! This book is sweet, lovely perfection. The illustrations are gorgeous and the message is clear: we are enough as we are. Byers conveys a huge, complex lesson that many of us never learn and present it in such a way that a child can be empowered. I'm an adult and feel so uplifted by it!
I love love love this picture book. What a great celebration of this little girls' confidence and belief in her capabilities. I loved the graphics - her afro - the children of different cultural backgrounds and capabilities. The message was one of loving yourself and loving others who are different. I choked up on this line, "we are right here to live a life of love, not fear... " I read it again and again. It really resonated within me. Highly recommend.
Bless my friends who know I love picture books and bring them to me to read!
I feel like I ought to like I Am Enough more than I actually do. It's a lovely little book that's just brimming with positivity and diversity, but it fell a little flat for me. I wasn't sure what some of the stanzas were trying to say. For instance:
Like the rain, I'm here to pour and drip and fall until I'm full.
I wasn't wild about some of the illustrations either, especially those digital chalk backgrounds. I adore that cover though!