All That I Am

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Poetic language knits together this uplifting picture book, which follows a black-haired, brown-skinned narrator who finds strength in nature and pride in their identity.

Sensory and figurative language by Clark, relayed in elegant rhymes, shows how the child relates to their surroundings: “I am bold as the river that makes its own way,/ I am huge as the high mountain peaks./ Like the sun, I bring color and light to the day,/ but there’s still more than that inside me.”

Bold washes of watercolor by Carlin bleed across pages as colored pencil detailing adds fluid figures, flora, and fauna, conjuring a dreamlike, amorphous quality that reflects the narrator’s limitless potential.

While the sheer number of abstract images may lose the interest of younger readers, adults may find this affirmative book useful in helping children consider their relationships with nature. Ages 5–9.