Book Cover

Ayaan loves school, but today he feels “a little bit worried.” His mom notices that he’s not looking happy as he usually does. He tells her what’s bothering him: “Sometimes at school I don’t feel very smart.” In the accompanying illustration, he imagines his classmates all raising their hands while he frowns. Ayaan’s mom has an answer for that, and it’s one Ayaan knows. They say it together: “I am smart.” Ayaan feels better, but he’s still dubious. As his mom walks him to school, they see encouraging friends and neighbors, which prompts their second affirmation: “I am blessed.” When Ayaan needs to tie his shoelace, his mom encourages him to try it all by himself. When he succeeds, they chant their third affirmation: “I CAN DO ANYTHING!” At last, Ayaan feels confident and ready for a good day at school. The bright, saturated, animation-style illustrations show a small, brown-skinned Ayaan with bright eyes and a high-top, a brown mom with colorful locs, and a racially diverse neighborhood and classroom. Ayaan’s dilemma is a common one, and the open relationship and positive problem-solving between this mother-son team are cheerful and warm. Families looking to practice affirmations may find inspiration here. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8-by-18.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 62.2% of actual size.)

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