I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown

Values: Love, Equality, Pride, Self-Belief, Trust and Respect.

This new book (published 2019) tells of the conversations between a father and son. When I first opened the book, and saw the dedication I knew it would be great book for the Values bookshelves either for families or for schools, "This book is dedicated to every child and adult who has ever felt different or not good enough. You can have the life you want and deserve because you have the tools to attain it. You are perfectly designed... and please never forget that."

The other striking opening to the book is the inside cover which is filled with families. There are families of different ethnicities, same-sex families, single parent families and two-parent families. It normalises different family setups that haven't always been represented in traditional children's books.

Arguably, the main Value shown in this story is love. There is a calm, strong bond between the father and son as their conversations unravel. He reminds his son that he can be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do because he is perfectly designed to be him. What a powerful message for children to hear.

Shining through these conversations are also the Values of equality, pride, self-belief, trust and respect. There is a vibrant image of the father and son looking at the moon and the father tells his son, "One day, you'll be big enough to reach it for yourself. But until then, it's perfectly fine to ask for help." With Year 3, we had a think about this in a circle time together. The children understood the boy would never really reach the moon - it was a metaphor for reaching his goals. They also understood that the dad was saying he should aim high, and his dad would be there to support him. We then shared times when our families had encouraged us to aim high and they were there to guide or support us. We all remembered the Value of self-belief and our school's focus on Growth Mindset.

In the story, the father and son are equals. They have honest, emotional conversations and the father does not laugh at or belittle the child's thoughts. It can be interesting to talk to children about whether they are 'equals' with their parents or whether they should be.

This conversation can also lead on to a discussion about trust and respect. What helps you to trust someone? How can you see the son trusts the father? How can you see mutual respect shown in the pictures and in the language used in their conversations?

If you enjoyed this review, you can find your copy at many bookshops. If you are ever in London, Oxford or Marlow, Daunt Books are one of my favourite chains of bookshops and their staff are so helpful! You can also find this book on Amazon.

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