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Masks are required in the library for everyone age 2 & up.

Hello, FPPL patrons! The last blog post from the Youth Services department was a booklist dedicated to helping kids acclimate to the new school year, whether that was through relearning social skills, providing emotional support, or even teaching how to be a friend. Now that kids are back in school (or will be shortly), another important issue to address is positive body image.
Studies show that children as young as three years old are affected by body image issues, and it only gets worse the older children get–particularly for young girls. The article “Body image issues are affecting kids as young as 3—here’s how to prevent them” provides tips on how to promote body positivity with your children. The Youth Services Department would also like to spotlight these wonderful books in our collection:

All Of Me by Chris Baron

Thirteen-year-old Ari faces what it is to be a man while dealing with a cross-country move, his parents’ separation, being bullied for his weight, and belatedly starting bar mitzvah preparations.

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen and Kadir Nelson

Sassy tries out for a summer dance festival in Washington, D.C., despite the other girls’ taunts that she is much too tall.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages and is a celebration of diversity.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison

Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.

I Am Jazz! by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas

Presents the story of a transgender child who traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of the sex assigned at her birth, and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status.

I Like Myself! By Karen Beaumont and David Catrow

In rhyming text, a little girl expresses confidence and joy in her uniqueness, no matter her outward appearance.

I Love Me! by LaRonda Gardner Middlemiss and Beth Hughes

“I love me from my mouth and chin, all the way down to my knees and shins.” This affirming picture book features a diversity of races and ethnicities, physical features, body types, abilities and disabilities, and teaches all kids they have many, many reasons to love themselves.

I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley and E.B. Lewis

A young African American girl describes the different, wonderful ways she can wear her hair.

Laxmi’s Mooch by Shelly Anand and Nabi H. Ali

After Laxmi’s friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance.

Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders and Carol Rosetti

Bodies come in all different forms and abilities . All these bodies are different and all these bodies are good bodies . There is no size, ability, or color that is perfect. What makes you different makes you, you–and you are amazing!

Love Your Body introduces the language of self-love and self-care to help build resilience, while representing and celebrating diverse bodies , encouraging you to appreciate your uniqueness . This book was written for every girl, regardless of how you view your body. All girls deserve to be equipped with the tools to navigate an image-obsessed world.

My Rainbow by Trinity and DeShanna Neal and Art Twink

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Short & Skinny by Mark Tatulli

As a middle schooler, Mark finds himself on the smaller side of the physical spectrum–being short AND skinny has really wreaked havoc on his confidence. So to end his bullying woes and get the girl–or at least the confidence to talk to the girl–he starts to explore bulking up by way of the miracle cures in the backs of his comics. But his obsession with beefing up is soon derailed by a new obsession: Star Wars, the hottest thing to hit the summer of 1977. As he explores his creative outlets as well as his cures to body image woes, Mark sets out to make his own stamp on the film that he loves.

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Bullied and shamed her whole life for being fat, twelve-year-old Ellie finally gains the confidence to stand up for herself, with the help of some wonderful new allies.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison

When five-year-old Sulwe’s classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.

The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz

After moving across the country, thirteen-year-old Natalie auditions for her new school’s play and overcomes her fears and insecurities about performing in a wheelchair. This debut novel is co-written by Ali Stroker, who made history as the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway and win a Tony Award.

FPPL Program:

If you’re interested in learning about modeling and how it can help with self-esteem and body image, the Youth Services department is partnering with Model Esteem for a program on September 4th from 3-5pm. Model Esteem LLC is a model development, promotional modeling and brand ambassador organization geared towards educating youth and adults about the modeling/entertainment industry, while building self esteem through creative arts. 

Click on the link below to go to the registration page:

Intro to Modeling with Model Esteem

Learn about the business of modeling, and receive preliminary training on posing and the runway from Forest Park’s own Model Esteem. Take-home snacks will be provided. This program is designed for ages 11-13.

Please note that registration is necessary to guarantee participation in this program because we are limiting attendance for safety. A waiting list will be available.

COVID Safety notes:

This program is planned for in-person, though the library reserves the right to change to a virtual presentation if safety guidelines change significantly. We will require all in-person participants to mask when inside the program for safety regardless of vaccination status since not all participants will be of the age to be eligible for vaccination. Please contact us if you would be interested in a recording or remote option for this program and we will accommodate you to the best of our ability.