I Am Every Good Thing
Derrick Barnes Gordon C. James
I Am Every Good Thing for [I] am ‘a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader‘. This powerful picture book is a call to step forward and know the power within. Thereafter Derrick Barnes harnesses a similar message to that within Standing On Her Shoulders or Songs for Our Sons, of values, self- confidence and self- worth.
Derrick Barnes is acclaimed for his novels including King of the Classroom that like this inspirational picture book, seeks to motivate and empower young readers. Therefore, he reminds us that ‘[I] make the world go round’, get ‘right back on my feet again‘, am ‘a sponge‘ and ‘want it all‘. While the words are explosive, the pictures from Gordon C. James are magnificent, painterly and empathetic.
In addition to the call, Derrick Barnes’ text can be read as a mantra against those who seek to undermine or disable. Therefore, our readers are reminded that ‘I am not what they might call me,/ and I will not answer to any name/ that is not my own. I am what I say I am.‘. We live in an era of growing consciousness and awareness of inequalities and injustice. Thereafter, this picture book speaks to people of all ages, classes and colours, but especially the underrepresented.
Bookwagon recommends I Am Every Good Thing as a gift, as a bedside read and as a constant reminder. Furthermore, this title is recommended as a book to share in school discussions and assemblies.