Inside: If you have a boy in your home, run, don’t walk, to the nearest book store and grab A BOY LIKE YOU by Frank Murphy and illustrated by Kayla Harren, one of the very best books for boys! It’s perfect in every way, from illustration to message, and it has been on constant rotation in our home!
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Every once in a while, my kids and I read a book that prompts so much unexpected conversation, I feel totally grateful (not to mention indebted) to the author and illustrator for creating such a magical story that makes tough conversations easy to have.
That’s exactly how I felt after reading A BOY LIKE YOU with Pickle, as Bo slept soundly, curled up next to me. Actually, Pickle read the book to me, and because he is a new reader, his pauses and breaks were just perfect. They gave him a breather, while also opening the door to meaningful conversation. And with this remarkable book, meaningful conversation can be had on every single page, and those convos span everything from sportsmanship to tears to giving back to your community to the meaning of strength.
A BOY LIKE YOU, written by Frank Murphy and illustrated by Kayla Harren, is the boys version of the plethora of strong girl books that have been published in the last few years. The book walks its readers through all the things that make a boy unique, and it doesn’t shy away from conveying to children that there is more to being a boy than sports, keeping emotions hidden, and being daring and tough. Instead, A BOY LIKE YOU beautifully describes all of the ways a boy can be brave and courageous, ways that include letting tears flow, raising his hand, and asking for help when he needs it. This book elegantly and perfectly combats gender stereotypes, allowing all readers to see that being a boy has many different and awesome meanings in addition to — or instead of — the ones that first come to mind.
One of our favorite pages was the above spread featuring several boys playing sports. Pickle is a sports fanatic, and he pored over these illustrations and the words attached to each. We talked for a good fifteen minutes about good sportsmanship, being part of a team, the fact that winning isn’t everything, and that being an amazing athlete also means sharing the spotlight — and the ball! — with others. We needed this conversation badly, and I was so grateful that A BOY LIKE YOU came into our lives when it did. It was the most perfect timing!
But that’s not all. The words in A BOY LIKE YOU contain so much power, offering wisdom and lessons I try to share with my boys on a regular basis. Snippets like leaving the world better than you found it, using good manners and listening intently to others’ stories, being curious, doing the right thing even when no one is looking, and most importantly, reaching for your dreams. A BOY LIKE YOU goes further than just reminding kids to dream big. It conveys to kids that they can be anything they want — but it won’t come to them without working hard. If you want something, go after it. But recognize that you must put in the effort to achieve it. Life goals will not be handed to you on a silver platter.
I can’t rave about this one enough. If you liked DEAR BOY, I have no doubt A BOY LIKE YOU will be a perfect story for your shelves, one you will turn to again and again that will spark conversation, instill confidence, and make your boy unequivocally proud of his unique, beautiful self.
Two gigantic trunks up for A BOY LIKE YOU!
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HEE received an advanced copy of this book for review consideration, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.