Cover image for Be you!
Be you!
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Reading Level:
500 L Lexile
Discover a joyful reminder of the ways that every child is unique and special, from the beloved creator of The Dot, Happy Dreamer, and New York Times bestseller, The Word Collector. Here, Reynolds reminds readers to "be your own work of art." To be patient, persistent, and true. Because there is one, and only one, YOU.


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A New York Times Bestseller! Creative visionary of The Word Collector, Happy Dreamer, and The Dot, #1 New York Times bestseller Peter H. Reynolds creates a joyful celebration of individuality--and staying true to Y-O-U! Be curious... Be adventurous... Be brave... BE YOU!

Discover a joyful reminder of the ways that every child is unique and special, from the beloved creator of The Dot , Happy Dreamer , and New York Times bestseller, The Word Collector . Here, Reynolds reminds readers to "be your own work of art." To be patient, persistent, and true. Because there is one, and only one, YOU.

In the tradition of books like Oh, the Places You'll Go! and I Wish You More comes a wholly original, inspirational celebration of individuality as only Peter H. Reynolds can create!

Author Notes

Peter H. Reynolds was born in Canada in 1961. He attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Fitchburg State College. He is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Dot, Ish, and The North Star. He also illustrated Someday by Alison McGhee, Tess's Tree by Jess M. Brallier, Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald. He is the Founder of the educational media company FableVision.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1--An exhortation to "be you." Life, the opening implies, is full of possibilities, and with each turn of the page, the narrator passes along a wish in the voice of a parent. Short exclamations like "Be curious," "Be different," and "Be your own thinker" proudly sit above illustrations of children drawn in Reynolds's charming style. These exclamations are expanded upon by wise words. Even on the facing pages, the text is kept brief. As befits the identity theme, the youths come from different ethnic and racial backgrounds and they participate in whatever activity suits them. VERDICT From the rainbow hues to its heartfelt messages, this title beams positivity. Share this one with those who adore Nancy Tillman's odes.--Rachel Forbes, Oakville Public Library, Ont.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Reynolds (Say Something!) is back in full affirmation mode, exhorting readers to be themselves and breaking down what that means into a series of refrain-like "Be" statements ("Be curious," "Be okay being alone"). Each gets a spread: on the left is a bright, poster-like vignette showing a child who embodies the desired character trait, while the right page offers a brief exegesis. "Be connected," for example, shows two kids smiling broadly while riding on a tandem bike as the text explains, "Find kindred spirits./ Be with those who make you feel/ like the real you." The statements pile up; taken together, readers may start feeling like all this encouragement blends into one tall order. Only one breaks with the format ("Be persistent" sits on a striking spread of a child intently but successfully sailing through a thunderstorm), and only one acknowledges that life can be truly overwhelming ("Be okay with reaching out for help" finds a flailing child being handed a life preserver). But any reader feeling the pressure to conform to expectations may find great comfort in knowing this book is on a nearby shelf, at the ready to offer up good counsel. Ages 4--8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)

Kirkus Review

An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life's challenges. The children featureda racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolerscheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: "Be curious.Be adventurous.Be persistent.Be kind." What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The "Be persistent" double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it's rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase "Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop," this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the "Be kind. Be understanding" spread simply presents two children's faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings. Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.