Love Your Body

Book review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
Love Your Body Book Poster Image
Uplifting book for tweens celebrates all kinds of bodies.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows many different types of bodies, stressing the idea that all bodies are good bodies. Self-care and self-love are defined and explained.

Positive Messages

Bodies are amazing. You are so much more than your body. Love yourself as you are. Ask for help; you are not alone. Your body is doing the best it can. Find your strengths and love them. You are always worthy of love and respect.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All characters model, for the most part, using their bodies to experience life as fully as possible and loving their bodies. The illustrations represent recurring female and nonbinary bodies of many shapes, sizes, and abilities, a diverse range of skin tones and hair styles/textures, a girl in a hijab, and a girl with vitiligo.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this U.S. edition of Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders and illustrated by Carol Rossetti (originally published in Australia) is an illustrated self-help book for tweens. Though not an educational book per se, terms like self-care and self-love are defined and explained in text and pictures. Much of the text comprises uplifting positive messages like "all bodies are good bodies," "love yourself as you are," and "you are always worthy of love and respect." There's no story to follow, though characters recur in each spread as they model feeling comfort in their various body shapes and sizes, participating in a variety of pursuits and passions, and engaging in practices of self-care and self-love. Female- and nonbinary-presenting bodies are portrayed in various skin tones, hair styles/textures, abilities, and conditions. Realistic tips and activities for improving body-image are included. This book offers many jumping off points for families and other adults to talk with big kids about developing self-love and self-care.

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What's the story?

In LOVE YOUR BODY, a diverse group of girls and nonbinary young people populate the pages of this self-love manual for tweens. Puberty is mentioned briefly, but the focus is on celebrating all the differences that make everyone unique and special. Characters are shown painting, playing guitar, reading, shopping, comforting each other, playing sports, doing yoga, hiking, and generally living their best lives. One spread acknowledges that it can be hard to love your body and suggests writing a list of all the great things your body helps you do. The next pages include 10 tips and activities to try if the list doesn't help, and, if they are still struggling, readers are urged to seek help from an adult or the organizations listed in the the book. Text and illustrations work together to illustrate self-care and self-love practices. End pages include suggestions for next steps, resources, and an empowering affirmation.

Is it any good?

This charmingly illustrated, uplifting book uses engaging text and delightful art to help tweens embrace their changing, wonderful bodies. Though the text in Love Your Body loops around its major concepts in what could feel like a repetitive manner (for example: "Bodies come in all different forms and abilities. All these bodies are different… what makes you different makes you, you."). But this kind of rephrasing for young readers reinforces important ideas about loving your body and respecting other people's bodies. Rossetti's illustrations are warm and inclusive -- most readers who identify as a girl or as gender fluid/nonbinary will see themselves in these pages.

The book features real bodies that we don't often see in media, let alone kid's books. And it includes unshaven armpits and legs, stretch marks, flat-chested girls, confident fat people in revealing clothes, and folks in wheelchairs engaging in sports. The tips, activities, and resource-rich end pages extend opportunities for growth. This is a welcome addition to any tween's or classroom's bookshelf.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about books that help you feel good about yourself like Love Your Body. How important is it to see kids who look like you in the books you read?

  • Which tips and activities offered in this book might you try? Why?

  • The illustrations convey lots of information about different kinds of bodies. Did anything in the art surprise you? What's it like to see so many different body shapes, sizes, abilities and skin tones? Why do you think the author included the bodies she did?

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For kids who love feeling good about themselves

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