Who says little boys are made of snakes and snails and puppy-dog tails? Author Frank Murphy’s new oversized picture book, A Boy Like You, proves that they are made of so much more!
In this lyrical book written for ages 4 to 8, an unknown narrator looks past the “billions and billions of people in the world” and speaks directly to YOU — the boy who happens to be reading the book. The narrator points out that the boy reading the book is one of a kind, and that the world needs a boy like him. The world needs a boy who plays fair, and helps out; who asks questions in classes, uses his imagination when he plays, and says encouraging things like, ‘Nice goal!’ or ‘Good try!’ when he plays sports with others.
The world needs a boy who gives his best try even when he’s afraid; who gives flowers to his mother, helps his father bake, and who not only reads stories, but writes them too.
This is lovely and lively book teeters between gentle guidance and great expectations for the next generation in line to lead. Author Frank Murphy’s prose manages to be sweet and encouraging, yet still masculine enough for rough-and-tumble boys who want to have fun…but who want to be gentlemen while they do it. Artist Kayla Harren’s illustrations are vibrant, colorful and kid-friendly. She captures some quite memorable expressions, like the sweet little boy who hands his mother flowers; the teary-eyed little boy who has scraped his knee and wipes his runny nose as his mother dabs away the blood, and the fearful little boy who shivers on the diving board because he’s afraid to make the jump — and then the joy on his face when he hits the water and realizes that his jump was a success. There is even a composite of the little boy daydreaming of all the career choices before him — and the corresponding images of a carpenter, a physician, a lecturer, a draftsman, a ball player, and…well, you name it.
In this era of empowering women and girls to know their worth and expect the very best of themselves, it is our duty NOT to forget to do the same for our sweet, impressionable, I-want-to-do-well-too young boys. Use this book to discuss gender roles, citizenship, friendship, occupations, and getting to know oneself.