Sometimes, people can barely tell you and your best friend apart.
If you happen to wear the same outfit one day, everyone mixes you up because you’re so alike. You talk alike and look alike and enjoy the same jokes. But you know, he’s unique and so are you, and in the new book “A Boy Like You” by Frank Murphy, illustrated by Kayla Harren (2018, Sleeping Bear Press), you’ll see how very special that is.
How many kids are in your neighborhood? In your family? Lots, right? Well, there are “billions and billions and billions of people in the world,” but there is absolutely nobody else exactly like you. Nothing would be the same if you weren’t here.
“This planet needs boys like you, boys that are strong in all the right ways. We need boys who are smart in ways that matter. The world needs kind boys, and boys who don’t make other kids feel bad.
We need boys like you who know that sports are fun and exciting but that there are other important things in the world. We need boys who are curious and boys who know how to tell stories and who are adventurous and who can dream.
We need boys like you who know that you can’t be brave without being afraid first. Never, for example, be afraid to cry. Crying is not weakness, it’s strength. Even grown men cry, you know.
The world needs boys like you, just as it needs all the kinds of people you’ll meet in your lifetime. The fun thing is that every one of them has a story to tell, so listen and “listen hard.” You’ll learn a lot through the years, just by hearing others.
Tell your friends you’re proud of them. Tell your family you love them. Do good things. Walk tall “with your head up” so you know “where you’re going.” Greet other people when you see them, and ask if they might need help. Be nice to the new kid in class. Leave every place and person better than they were when you found them. And never forget that “the world needs a boy… oh, boy, a boy like YOU!”
One casual stroll around the bookstore or library, and you know that girl-power books have taken over, front-and-center. “A Boy Like You” helps represent the other side of children’s literature.
Across every page of this picture-packed book, boys who appear to be grade-school age romp through an average day, accompanied by playmates and neighbors of all races; here, kids will see themselves and their families. There are plenty of illustrations by Kayla Harren to keep a child entertained because there’s so much activity, but author Frank Murphy’s words are the strength of the book. Without preaching or nagging, that text quietly offers many positive traits as things for boys to imitate. An afterword for parents is the perfect cherry on top.
Get this book for your 3-to-8-year-old little guy and share it often. You know he’s special and “A Boy Like You” will nicely set him apart.