“Look at Me. Who Do You See?” by Britta Stromeyer Esmail

“Look at Me. Who Do You See?” by Britta Stromeyer Esmail 175 175 Reader Views Kids

Look at Me. Who Do You See?

Britta Stromeyer Esmail
Beaver’s Pond Press (2023)
ISBN: 978-1643436364
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (06/2023)

Unice might look like a rhino on the outside but on the inside, she knows who she really is.  But everyone is telling her she isn’t a unicorn and doesn’t “act” like a rhino with her rainbow dress, rainbow glitter, and sparkly rainbow hat, so she begins to dull herself to fit in with the rest of her rhino family.  That’s when she meets Snyder, a rainbow snow leopard who knows exactly who he is. By seeing Snyder living as his true self on the inside and the outside, Unice gains the confidence she needs to be a unicorn.

Parents, grandparents, kids, and families alike have so much to learn from Unice and Snyder.  Author Britta Stromeyer Esmail does a fantastic job crafting a relatable story with a powerful message.  Showing us how words, assumptions, and looks can cause those we love to hide their authentic selves.  Just because we may look one way doesn’t mean that’s who we are.  Thankfully Unice had Snyder, who came along just in time to show her it’s okay to be proud of who she really is. 

Making this story truly pop is the talented illustrator, Joanna Cooke.  Providing the rainbows, glitter, and pizzaz to bring this story to life, Cooke brings the color, the vivid imagery, and the emboldened words to life on the page. With purples and browns to portray the rhino shell, to the bright colors and rainbow affair of the unicorn within, the pages are full of character both in the written word and illustrated artistry.

This is a beautiful children’s book, both inside and out, as the colors, the message, and the characters within provide a lesson we could all use – be who YOU want to be.  Unice makes for a loveable character as Snyder provides the support necessary to override the naysayers causing Unice to hide in the mud.  Concluding this beautiful and colorful message are pages with fun facts about both rhinos and unicorns, which continue to carry the rainbow theme of the book, making for a well-rounded, important, and inspiring book for both the youngest and oldest members of the family.

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