Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Only You Can Be You! {A Children's Book Review + Giveaway} #OnlyYouCanBeYouBook #OnlyYouCanBeYou #SallyClarkson

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Frontgate Media for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Some kids like to dance and laugh out loud, and some sit quietly and make up stories in their heads—but we're all different, and that's okay because the maker of everything made us this way!
In their first picture book, bestselling author Sally Clarkson and her son Nathan encourage children on the journey to discovering their strengths. Mother and son duo draw on themes from their first book, Different, the emotive story of Nathan's experiences growing up with mental illness and learning disabilities and Sally's journey to loving him unconditionally. With the powerful truth that what makes you different makes you great, Only You Can Be You will help children embrace their differences and celebrate the differences in others.
The irresistible rhymes paired with Tim Warnes's whimsical illustrations encourage your children with the reassurance they're looking for in their own uniqueness. Whether they are quiet or artistic, funny or boisterous, your children will love this heartwarming read that assures them that they're wonderful exactly as they are.

Sally Clarkson is the beloved author of multiple bestselling books, including Own Your LifeThe Lifegiving Home with her daughter Sarah, Desperate with Sarah Mae, and Different with her son Nathan. As a mother of four, she has inspired thousands of women through Whole Heart Ministries (www.wholeheart.org) and Mom Heart conferences (www.momheart.org). Sally also encourages many through her blogs, podcasts, and websites. You can find her at www.sallyclarkson.com and on her popular podcast, At Home with Sally, which has over 5 million downloads and can be found on iTunes and Stitcher.

Nathan Clarkson is an actor, bestselling author, filmmaker, and poet who has a passion for telling stories that make a difference. Nathan has been seen in many popular TV shows and films and has recently released his first book Different, a memoir written with his mother, Sally Clarkson, about his struggle and triumph in the midst of mental illness and learning disabilities. Nathan lives in New York and Los Angeles and can often be found in his hometown of Colorado Springs. You can follow Nathan on Facebook or connect with him at nathanclarkson.me.

One of the conversations that I frequently have with my daughter is of the importance of being nice and showing respect to everyone--- even those who may act or look a bit different than herself. Having an older child who is autistic, we have unfortunately seen far too often that kindness can be a rarity. People see my son as someone who acts differently, and they treat him unkindly. Given that experience, it is important for me to encourage my daughter to be that friend that kids like my son need--- the one who looks past the differences and is kind, the one who tries to make friends with the friendless, the one who doesn't laugh when another child doesn't act quite the same as the others. I think this is a lesson that we should be teaching our kids more than anything.

When I heard about this book, I knew it was one that we needed to check out. We were not disappointed. My daughter loved the sweet rhymes and beautiful illustrations that carried throughout the story. She loved reading that it was okay to be who she was, just the way God had made her. I loved the deeper messaging behind that. This book doesn't specifically talk about disabilities, or other more visible differences that sadly seem to cause so much division in our country like race... but it does show a child in a wheelchair and shows children of all races, etc (it does mention being light or dark which of course implies race). However it also talks about a wide variety of differences that children might have--- quiet or loud, outgoing or shy, big or little... even differences in how they play and how tidy they are. I think by giving all of these examples, it really helps to show even the youngest of children that each and every one of us is unique...and that's okay because only WE are the one God created us to be. It's a sweet story with a beautiful message that is so relevant to kids today in so many ways.

If you ask me, this is a book we all need in our collections, and one that my daughter and I have truly enjoyed!

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