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All Bodies Are Good Bodies

By Charlotte Barkla and Erica Salcedo
Reviewed by Margarite Igras
Charlotte Barkla’s debut picture book has turned up the volume with this playful, and noisy book about children’s bodies. Together with Erica Salcedo’s colourful, and animated illustrations and the lively rhyming text, the book entertains, informs, and buzzes with children at play.
My attention was piqued by the cover title and the spirited bunch of children, twirling, hanging upside down, and clambering over the letters. They are all different. From skin tone to hair colour and texture, eye shape, and tummy size.  They are individuals and love what their bodies can do.
An animated pigtailed girl on the left side of each double page, enthusiastically shouts I love HANDS!   I love ARMS! I love TUMMIES! On the opposite pages are children engaged in a flurry of activities focussing on that body part. I love the inclusion of a child with an eye patch, just like my granddaughter and the various bellybuttons, Innies or outies; I’ve seen them all.
The bright, and energetic illustrations are bound to engage children and gently usher an awareness of differences from person to person. Frizzy hair, curly hair, straight or wavy. Big ears, small ears, pointed or round. Giant legs, tiny legs, hairy or smooth. Some legs are quick, others don’t move.
The text moves from a shout with words in large prints, to the beautiful, playful verse that is written to be read – with expression, of course! The ending jumps out, involving reader and child with the question I wonder if your tummy’s ticklish too. My four, and six-year-old grandchildren love this book.
Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing 2020
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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