Looking Like Me

Walter Dean Myers (Author) Christopher Myers (Illustrator)

Product Details

$18.98  $17.46
Carolrhoda Books (R)
Publish Date
October 27, 2009
9.2 X 0.3 X 9.1 inches | 0.7 pounds
Library Binding

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About the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a writer, a photography collector, a flute player, a cat owner, a Harlem native, a former basketball player, a husband, and a father. You can visit him at www.walterdeanmyers.net.
Christopher Myers is an artist, a writer, a photographer, a clothes designer, a Brooklynite, a former baseball player, and a son.


"The sassy rhythm and empowering message of this poem in picture book format will appeal to both students and teachers alike. As Jeremy goes about his day, he contemplates everything that makes him unique. He walks around his urban neighborhood and discovers that he is a son, brother, artist, dreamer, runner, and much more. Throughout the book, his strong connections with his community and his family are emphasized. The reader can feel Jeremy's energy and hear his exuberant voice. This joyful, confident, well-adjusted, and well-rounded character is a nice change from typical minority stereotypes. The vibrant and bold collage art adds to the energy of the book. This book can be used in a poetry unity and can kick off a writing assignment where students discover what makes them unique. It can be used in art class as an example of using collage and photographs in art. Counselors can use it with self-esteem units. Students will enjoy the jazzy rhythm and upbeat message of the poem. The possibilities for this book are endless. Highly Recommended." --starred review, Library Media Connection


"Walt Whitman once wrote, 'I contain multitudes, ' and that important concept is brilliantly interpreted here by the Myers' father-son partnership. The elder Myers' rhythmic poem celebrates a young Everyman from Harlem who looks in the mirror to 'see a real handsome dude looking just like me.' Moving through the city, he encounters family and friends who share their points of view: 'Along came my sister, / fine as she can be. / "Hey, Jeremy," she said, / "You're little brother to me."' Each helps him see that he is a valued artist, runner, dreamer, and more, and that he has a lot to give to himself and the world. The innovative art and design represent different identities with colorful silhouettes placed against photos of people, places, and icons. Sometimes the connections are more obvious, like the photo of a sun, which plays on the word son, and there is an image of a stingray accompanying Jeremy's reference to himself as 'a silver-rayed moonbeamer'; other images, such as Buddha heads, giraffes, and ketchup bottles, suggest more abstract connections. The overall effect is that of performers in front of a huge screen of rapidly changing images at a pop concert or a video game, and blocks of solid color provide visual rest and keep the gutters clear. This very contemporary work is encouraging, energetic, and inspired." --starred, Booklist


"The dynamic father-son duo returns with another high-energy poetry book. Looking Like Me is a song of oneself, and of all of the elements that make up and define an individual. On first looking in the mirror, Jeremy sees 'a real handsome dude/looking just like me.' When friends and family see him, he discovers that he is also a brother, a son, a writer, a city child--a whole world in one self. The poetry sings with Walter Dean Myers's trademark urban verve. Jeremy punctuates his encounters by fist-bumping his family members and associates and exclaiming 'I gave it [the fist] a BAM!' This now-familiar gesture powerfully expresses the solidarity Jeremy feels with the others in his community. Moreover, these encounters underline how his relationships shape his perceptions of himself. The rhyme and repetition flow naturally, capturing the rhythms of everyday conversation and the hip-hop beats many children hear daily. Christopher Myers's bold, vivid illustrations fuel the energy of his father's verse. Bright paper cutouts of the characters stand before photo collages that capture lively occasions in a variety of cultures. These paper figures are blue, green, and other colors that do not correspond to natural skin tones. Children of any ethnic background thus can project themselves onto the silhouettes. This book is an excellent introduction to verse, for it vividly demonstrates how poetry is a vital part of daily life." --starred, School Library Journal


"Self-esteem picture books have taken some abuse in these pages (see Daniel Greenstone's 'Ain't I Great!: The Problem with Self-Esteem, ' November/December 2008), but even the more curmudgeonly among us might appreciate the message when it's dressed up as fine as it is in this picture book by Myers pére et fils. The poem-text has both swagger and bounce ('I looked in the mirror / and what did I see? / A real handsome dude / looking just like me') as young Jeremy celebrates, in cumulating verses, all the people, places, and things that make him who he is: he's his sister's brother, his father's son, a writer to his teacher, and so on. Each verse ends with variations on an irresistible chorus: 'She put out her fist. / I gave it a bam! / I added dancer / to the answer / of just who I am!' Christopher Myers's collage illustrations present Matisse-like cutouts of human figures in hot, strong colors against almost abstractly cropped photos--a parade, a boxing ring, animals at the zoo--that suggest a world brimming with riches." --The Horn Book Magazine


"The Myerses--father and son--reunite for a poetic celebration of self that blends a sort of Whitman-esque hip-hop with '70s-vibe visuals. Adapting the cumulative cadences of Bill Martin's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Walter Dean Myers's text immediately establishes a preeminent self-affirmation: 'I looked in the mirror / And what did I see? / A real handsome dude looking just like me.' Narrator Jeremy hears from a succession of family, neighbors and community members and adds role after role to his portfolio. He's a brother, son, writer, city kid, artist, dancer, talker, runner, dreamer: 'Looked in the mirror-- / I look like a crowd.' Christopher Myers overlays eclectic photo collages with stylized, silhouetted figures in saturated hues of chartreuse, butternut, chocolate, magenta and more. The text's two upper-case typefaces look like gritty, spray-painted stencils and whimsical woodcuts. There's a touch of call-and-response in the refrain ('He put out his fist. / I gave it a BAM!') that begs to be read aloud. This vibrant synthesis of poetry and pictures is a natural for classrooms and family sharing." --starred, Kirkus Reviews