Written by Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D.
Author: Jerod Simon
Publisher: Author House
Pages: 12 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
I'm naturally beautiful is a really excellent, well written, and powerfully illustrated book that inspires children, mainly girls, to be and love themselves. The book starts with the discovery and acceptance of a young Black girl’s beauty. This attitude is empowered by the belief that God gives us exactly what we need. The story encourages little girls of African descent to embrace their physical beauty and also their ancestral history (being Nubian Queens, as opposed to slaves). The author informs little girls they have the ability to be anything they aspire to be. The illustrator doesn’t convey just one type of acceptable Black beauty but an array of beauty as demonstrated in varying skin tones including vitiligo; hair types (tightly coiled, loosely curled, locked, wavy, and straight); and length (short, medium, or long). The story is really short but very impactful. It took less than 5 minutes for my 9 year old to read, but would take a beginning reader a little longer. I would normally recommend to kindergartners to 2nd grade because of the length of the book. However, due to its noteworthy content, we recommend every parent who has a little girl of African descent living in the US, UK, Caribbean, and Africa to not just read, but own this book. It is not just about elevating self-esteem, it is about having representative characters that are strong, happy, and empowered role models. Olivia described it as very inspiring and reported enjoying it very much.
The author claims he never intended to write a children's book but the idea was birthed when his daughter arrived. It is amazing how becoming a parent affects how you see the world and how you perceive yourself. To get a copy of your own, the book is sold on Amazon. To learn more about the book and author, please go to www.jerodsimon.com