Friday, September 24, 2021

Review: Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor

 It's Friday!!! And yes, I'm extremely happy about that a week it's been. For my avid readers, you might have noticed that I haven't been leaving a few words for thought every day at the beginning of my reviews like I usually do. This week has been a fight to get the books read and reviews up, which is weird because I haven't felt that busy...but when I hit the end of the day, I realize that I am. 

Anyway, today's review is a sudden, unexpected shove-in (because not everything runs smoothly even in the review world), and I'm all smiles that I got this one in. 

See the cover? Well, the real one is all sparkles and shine, making the gold florals really pop off the page. Special things like that get lost in these images, which is too bad because this book is super pretty!

This one came out just a few days ago...on the 14th.

by Nabela Noor
Illustrated by Nabi H Ali
Simon & Schuster
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

From designer, creator, and self-love advocate Nabela Noor (@Nabela) comes a much-needed picture book about loving yourself just as you are.

Meet Zubi: a joyful Bangladeshi girl excited about her first day of school. But when Zubi sees her mother frowning in the mirror and talking about being “too big,” she starts to worry about her own body and how she looks. As her day goes on, she hears more and more people being critical of each other’s and their own bodies, until her outburst over dinner leads her family to see what they’ve been doing wrong—and to help Zubi see that we can all make the world a more beautiful place by being beautifully ourselves.



These pages embrace uniqueness and show that beauty is much more than the superficial definition of a certain, outward appearance.

Zubi is spilling over with excitement—it's her first day of school! She dresses in her nicest clothes and is more than ready to attack the day, when she overhears her mother complaining about having too large of a stomach. Then, her older sister wants to go on a diet, and even Zubi's father is saying that he's gained too much weight. At school, everything is great until a boy at recess teases another kid about being too fat. Suddenly, Zubi isn't feeling so beautiful and wants to go on a diet, too, and this causes unexpected waves in the family.

Weight and outer-appearance carry much too large of a role in our lives and society, but no matter how we try, it seems impossible to ignore the standards which have been drilled into our minds. So, this book definitely hits a topic, which all young readers can and will, at one point, find themselves faced with. While the message in this one is very clear, though, it doesn't come across as overly preachy...and I think that's thanks to the wonderful character, Zubi. She's hard not to love with her bubbly attitude and joy for life.

Not only does this one carry a lovely message about true beauty, but it also revolves around a family, which finds its heritage in Bangladesh. The terms and culture are woven into the tale without a nod or pause, allowing it to flow smoothly. The reader is shown the culture in a natural, matter-of-fact state. But, luckily, there is a glossary at the end of the book to define those terms that readers/listeners may not know.

It's a beautiful book with a beautiful messages...and beautifully done.

And here she is...

Nabela Noor is a first-generation Bangladeshi American creator, activist, and entrepreneur. As a self-love advocate, Nabela utilizes her platforms to empower and inspire millions of people around the world to love the skin they’re in. Her work centers around her passion for representation and diversity with a commitment to uplifting stories and characters who are often unseen and underrepresented. Globally recognized for her “Pockets of Peace” content, you can learn more about the power of self-love through self-care on Nabela’s TikTok and Instagram @Nabela.

Nabi is a Tamil American illustrator who enjoys creating diverse works that showcase an array of cultures and peoples. His interest in illustrative works started when he realized he could help create representation in the arts and in media for minorities, and he is very passionate about working with characters that he would have liked to see when he was a kid. His favorite quality in art is experimenting with color and what the right colors can do to make a piece of art magical. His hobbies include drawing (of course), doll collecting, reading, learning about South Asian mythology and folklore, and researching history.


Heather N. Quinn said...

Great to see kids being taught that self-love is important. When we feel good about ourselves we can do so much more than when we feel crummy about ourselves.

Tonja Drecker said...

So true!