By Author / Illustrator
Nima Patel, Cally Johnson-Isaacs
Little Tiger Press Group
Let's stop asking, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and start asking who children want to be.
From a firefighter's bravery and a teacher's fairness to the creativity of an artist, this book explores the different values which can make us the best versions of ourselves. Uplifting text and joyful artwork shows readers the importance of kind, strong, passionate and determined.
This inspirational, thought-provoking book from parenting coach Nima Patel celebrates the qualities children need to thrive. What we need to succeed is already within us! Find out more from Nima Patel.
The Best You is an absolute treat and more! "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question people are asked throughout childhood and beyond. I know I'm guilty of anticipating my toddler's interests and what career path she might possibly take in years to come. But in fact, this question is often asked before young people have really and truly experienced much that the world has to offer. The Best You takes a refreshingly different approach and asks who they want to be when they grow up.
This is an inspiring book about the qualities people behold and the values they have instilled in them that serve perfectly for prospects in adult life. Thought-provoking is the ultimate word I would use to describe this book. As a child, and equally as an adult, too, it encourages us to pause and reflect on the kinds of people that carry out certain roles and responsibilities in life. We realise that doctors are great at being the most caring and helpful version of themselves whilst athletes have determination and will attempt something repeatedly without allowing themselves to feel defeated. Thinking about the personality traits and the personal qualities these job roles require help us to appreciate the different strengths we all have. We aren't all brave and daring, but thankfully those who are make fantastic firefighters and astronauts!
Maybe you don't know what path you want to take yet in life, and this is equally as wonderful too as The Best You reminds us that we need people like you who are open-minded and adventurous. The Best You ends in the most beautiful way, by reminding us that we can all strive to be the best version of ourselves in all that we do. We can be fair. We can be kind. We can learn from others too!
Author Nima Patel writes a letter to the 'grown ups' to urge us to help children to 'truly blossom by becoming the best version of themselves on the inside first'. Nima urges us to show children what determination looks like, to show them that it's ok to cry and to show courage in saying sorry.
This book can be used in so many ways both in an educational setting and at home with loved ones. There is so much conversation to be had about what makes us great. It isn't our careers that define us, but our positive character traits that help us to be The Best You.
Picture book / Reviewed by Jessica Bunney, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+
The Best You is a new picture book exploring how children can be the best possible version of themselves in a positive and thought-provoking way. It asks them to look at the attributes and qualities they may have and how they can be used to be the best possible versions of themselves.
The book explores looking at different job roles and what qualities those people may have; for example, engineers having 'determination and vision'; so the book twists the question from 'what do you want to be when you are older?' to WHO do you want to be?
The book looks at who we are, not what we are - something I really enjoyed. I also liked the letter at the back of the book from the author (addressed to adults) as it really made me stop and think, as did the whole book.
This is one of the best picture books I have seen that looks at being a good person from the inside out and how that is most important. I cannot wait to use this book with my class in the New Year. I really wish I had something like this when I was younger to read!
Picture book / Reviewed by Lauren Maidman, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+
People often ask children what they would like to be when they grow up. This lovely book challenges that idea by asking the reader to think about the different values which are important for making each and every one of us the best version of ourselves which we can be: not 'what do you want to be', but 'who do you want to be'?
The Best You is a lovely book to share at home, but would also make an excellent focus for an assembly - or a series of related assemblies across a term. Considering the qualities needed for different occupations encourages children to think about possibilities in their lives ahead; not shaping themselves to a particular path, but celebrating and developing the qualities which they already possess and embracing these.
The book opens discussions about the different roles people play, perhaps why they choose different career paths and what makes them suited to these. Children will, no doubt, be able to offer ideas for other professions and so lead the conversation about what qualities might be needed for these. Whilst traditional ideas - everyone knows firefighters are brave - are important, other characteristics are also considered - the need to be calm in a crisis and the ability to work well in a team.
A display could be developed based on the book, but with the school community adding their own thoughts and ideas. There is a subtle emphasis on self-development which could be explored with a focus on values like kindness, being fair and learning from others. This could easily be linked to work in PSHE sessions and shared with all staff and adults who work in the school so that these qualities can be noticed and valued by the whole school community.
Celebrating the qualities children (and adults!) need to thrive, The Best You is a beautifully illustrated, thought-provoking book for all to enjoy!
Picture book / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 3+