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Just Like Me

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,027 ratings  ·  230 reviews
An ode to the girl with scrapes on her knees and flowers in her hair, and every girl in between, this exquisite treasury will appeal to readers of Dear Girl and I Am Enough and have kids poring over it to find a poem that's just for them.

I am a canvas
Being painted on
By the words of my family
Friends
And community


From Vanessa Brantley-Newton, the author of Grandma's Purse, co
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,027 ratings  ·  230 reviews


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La Coccinelle
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, poetry
It's been so long since I was a kid. I'm not sure if this is the sort of thing kids would like. I'm especially not sure if it's something today's kids would like. As an adult, I enjoyed it and probably got quite a bit out of it. I'm just not sure of the appeal of free-verse poetry for the younger set.

What I really like here, though, are the illustrations. I've read other books written and/or illustrated by Brantley-Newton, and I've usually been impressed. Here, we have a diverse cast of female c
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Dave Schaafsma
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books. Just Like Me, written and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, is book #9 (of 22) of 2020. Poems for girls.

Lyra (13): 3 stars. Kinda seems like cliched writing prompts that are trying to relate to girls of all ages. Some are sweet, though, and it tells young readers to embrace and love yourselves for everything that makes you you. Which is cool. Fun, beautiful art. [Okay, I’ll admit that I decided to move my family ra
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Leslie Reese
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I have been a fan of Vanessa Brantley-Newton ever since I encountered her illustrations in Early Sunday Morning. I tracked down a copy of Grandma's Purse and loved that as well. Even though it has been decades since I was a child, I still find delight in many children's illustrated books.

Vanessa Brantley-Newton has not lost touch with the sensitivities, questions, and perceptions of children - little girls in particular - and her writing and illustrations reflect that. Just Like Me is comprised
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Donna Backshall
I think the dedication says everything I would want to say about this fantastic book about empowering girls everywhere:

"For every little girl who is becoming a big girl.
I like you just the way you are.
Shine, girl, shine.
--VB-N"
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Mariah Roze
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry, especially for children.
Betsy
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, picture-books
“Uplifting”
“Empowering”

Ever see a word used so much that the meaning begins to blur after a while? If you lived your whole life buying books based on their reviews rather than seeing the books firsthand, you would be forgiven for just sort of meshing all the books that get tagged with those words together in the swampy fog of your mind. And normally I don’t look at the professional reviews all that closely when I have a book in hand. Still, in the case of Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
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Panda Incognito
This is the first 2020-published picture book that I have read. It features charming collage-style illustrations and poems about diverse girls and their various interests, thoughts, and feelings. I thought that it was nice, but it didn't grip me. Some of the poems were better than others, and I preferred the playful and thoughtful ones to the ones about Creating Change or fighting for rights, simply because the moral messages of this book were better suited to a different format and seemed vague ...more
Andrew
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations aren't the only bright and colorful part of this book-- these poems shine just as much. In Just Like Me you will find positive, affirming (and a couple bittersweet) poems relatable to any young girl; but they aren't just for girls. Gorgeous mixed-media/collage style art accompanies each poem, be it sweet, clever, or bold. This is a wonderful poetry collection that must not be missed! ...more
Ms. B
May 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, picture, poetry
Some of these poems are funny. Kids will enjoy "Pimples" and "Sundress Blues". "Girl Fight" will cath their attention and "A Wish for Daddy" will break their heart. And those with curly or wavy hair (like me) will identify with "My Crown". ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
A bold collection of poems for strong girls everywhere.

"The day I decided to become sunshine
in my own world
everything changed
I decided to shine my little light
into the darkest corners
of my community..."

"Bullies
monsters
dragons
and goons

try to scare
me with gloom
and doom

But I just
pull out my dustpan
and broom
and sweep them
away
I'm brave today
Yay!"

A poem for every mood.
Every wish.
Every dream.

"Like a paper chain...
we link up to...
and aspire to go
higher and higher
pulling each other up
so that she can be
...more
Crystal
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: future-storytime
Damn...this was a timely book to read though it's not a picture book in the way I thought it was. Instead of being a storybook it's more of a poetry collection.

I'm just going to leave the lines from the last poem in the book right here:
...
encouraging each other to be
gentle yet strong
loving and kind
each one reaching out
until our link crosses this world
like the change
we long to see
We can't do it until everyone joins in...

...more
Annese
This is a beautiful book! From the art, to the text, it was a wonderful read. I had the opportunity to hear Vanessa Brantley-Newton read some of her poems aloud, and it made the book even better - to hear her intended rhyme and phrasing throughout the book. Love!
Amy
This is a gorgeous book that illustrates stories about different types of girls, using beautiful words in the form of poems that tell a short story and vibrant illustrations!

Rod Brown
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Annual Goodreads Choice Awards reading project: Read all the Picture Book nominees! (16 of 20)

Nice and earnest in its sentiments, but it's poetry, and I'm rarely a lover of poetry (or even liker or endurer of poetry), especially the sort that puts random hard returns in the middle of sentences.
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Danielle
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This is such a sweet collection that celebrates you for being you. The poems can apply to many types of girls, but there are some specific to Black girls that I'm glad were included. ...more
Christina Carter
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I adored every bit of this book! Vanessa Brantley-Newton's talent is a gift in every poetic line and in each beautifully detailed illustration. Just Like Me is just the right book for every little girl. It's for the dreamers, the doorbusters, the ones who raise their voice. It's for the soft-spoken and the chill girls, the warriors and the way-makers. It celebrates positive self-image, social and emotional well being, family and friendship, with a whole lot of heart.

Take the time to dige
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Amy Layton
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
With painted illustrations and an optimistic rhyming scheme, Just Like Me offers the reflection of experiences and feelings that many girls may have about their lives growing up.  From living in the country to the city, with scrapes on their knees and flowers in their hair, there are moments in time which every girl shares the experience of wanting, embarrassment, and having all out fun.  

I honestly didn't expect this book to be a collection of poems, but it was a wonderful surprise!  The illust
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Lisa
Aug 22, 2020 added it
Shelves: requested, f-and-g
I loved the beautiful illustrations. The poems were variable but it was fun to pick out some that were relevant and shorter for my 5 year old. I also enjoyed reading a book that focused on girls to my son since the inverse happens all the time.
Abby Johnson
I love Vanessa Brantley-Newton's vibrant illustrations. This empowering collection of poetry celebrates girl power and all the different kinds of girls that make up our wonderful country. ...more
Amanda
Positive, empowering, creative, and real. I loved the vibrancy of this book. Short and sassy and uplifting. Would love for girls everywhere to read this.
Lynn
A book of enjoyable poetry for elementary age girls. Pleasant and entertaining and a book I’d love to read to my students.
Chandler Sizemore
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book at Barnes & Noble in a poetry book section and it was so cute, I just had to buy it! The book is composed of different poems written in the voice of several girls with different lifestyles or hobbies. The illustrations were BEAUTIFUL; I just loved the bright colors and abstract works and montages to make pictures. I do believe the author intended for this book to be only for girls, as that is the central theme of the story: for women to link together and embrace themselves and ...more
Karissa
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-choice-award
I loved the beautiful water color illustrations. I liked that this picture book was about girl empowerment, and showcased a diverse group of girls in different living situations. For example, both girls who live in the city and the rural countryside were portrayed. I did think it was a bit strange that there was a story about getting pimples in it as I would think the age group for this would be too young to be worrying about acne yet.
Cynthia
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

This was such an amazing book. The illustrations are so dynamic and beautiful. I can just imagine reading this to a younger group of kids and they would be obsessed. These poems are very powerful and an anthem to girlhood. I love how inclusive they are of different personalities and backgrounds but have unifying themes of empowerment. I can't even pick a favorite poem, they are all that good.

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Martha andrade
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not sure that my little me would like this, or even if the new generations like it, but as an adult I like that a children's book has poems of inclusion and self-improvement. ...more
Michelle Gray
This would be a great gift book to my daughter. Loved the message and bright illustrations.
Monday
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is amazing! I love the different poems throughout, and all of the different messages they represent. There were many times where I couldn't stop smiling because of the writing and art. ...more
Deborah
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Colorful, positive, and empowering- what a great collection of freeform poems for young readers! Such a visual and uplifting treat of a book.
Bridget
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc
I'd love to add this book of poetry to my classroom library - it's so affirming, diverse, and sweet. ...more
Kristen LeBlanc
Brantley's pages scream creativity and her beautiful words are complimented by just as gorgeous watercolor illustrations, each matching perfectly to the poetry it surrounds. Some pieces of poetry short and others cover two pages, but, the messages are clear and visually represented.

Brantley successfully conveys the ideas of individuality, beauty within oneself, the judgement of the world on others depending on their race, each person's connection to nature, and everyone's place in the world.

No
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Vanessa Brantley Newton attended both SVA and FIT of New York, where she studied fashion and children’s illustration. An artist swathed in retro chic, she loves all things vintage – especially books and clothes from the 40s through the 60’s – and it shines through in her designs, which run the gamut of fun and whimsical to stylish and sophisticated. She loves to add unique touches to her work, inc ...more

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