I Am Enough

Book review by
Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media
I Am Enough Book Poster Image
Girl celebrates herself in poetic picture book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This could be a great choice for teaching the language-arts concepts of rhyme, rhythm, and poetry.

Positive Messages

Each of us is beautiful in our own special way. We're here to share love and help one another through good times and bad.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The illustrations, which depict exclusively girls (no boys and no adults), strongly reinforce a message of acceptance, including self-acceptance. They depict girls with diverse traits and interests. There are girls with different skin colors, girls in wheelchairs, and girls in hijabs. There are girls shown participating in conventional girl activities, such as playing dress up and jumping rope, and girls doing things that might be associated with boys or tomboys, such as sparring in martial arts, running a race to win, and climbing a rope ladder. There are also a lot of images of the main character (an African American girl with natural hair) enjoying her solitude.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Am Enough is a New York Times bestselling picture book written by Grace Byers and illustrated by Keturah Bobo. It features an African American girl who celebrates herself by perceiving the ways she resembles beautiful things in the world around her -- including people who look different. The illustrations have only girls (no boys and no adults). The girls depicted are very diverse: They have different skin colors, with some in wheelchairs and others wearing hijabs. They engage in solitary as well as cooperative activities. The activities are also diverse, including martial arts, swinging, and playing with a wagon full stuffed animals.

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What's the story?

I AM ENOUGH is a rhyming poem rather than a story. It begins with a series of similies, where the main character names things she is "like": the sun, the wind, the student, and so on. Then it shifts to a reflection on love, acceptance, and the conclusion that we are here to help one another.

Is it any good?

Girls, especially African American girls, can see themselves in this gentle, celebratory book. Grace Byers' I Am Enough is a rhyming poem that's entertaining and easily understood by a young child. The illustrations by Keturah Bobo are notable for the expressive faces and body language, soothing pastel colors, and soft lines. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how I Am Enough explores feelings of confidence. What makes a person "enough"? Is it being kind? Being funny? Being smart? Being a winner? What qualities do you admire? 

  • What things do you like to do when you're alone?

  • How do you and your friends have fun together? 

  • How do you help somebody who's feeling sad? Who helps you when you're feeling sad, and how?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories that build confidence and positive body image

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