I Can Be...Me!
By Lesléa Newman
Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
From bestselling author Lesléa Newman — a joyful picture book celebration of individuality, uniqueness, and children's freedom to express themselves while engaging in whatever kinds of play they choose.
I can be everything I want to be,
I can be all of magnificent me!
In this lighthearted story, a group of six, colorfully clad children exuberantly explore -- through play -- the many ways they can be themselves. They are free to embrace all kinds of activities, reveling in the fun of trying new things and discovering new ways of being. They can shoot baskets, dance around a room, weave ribbons through their hair, swim like a mermaid, and more. There is no right way or wrong way. There are no binary expectations. Children explore their individuality through whatever kinds of play appeal to them.
With lively, gender-neutral rhyming verses and fun, gender-bending images, author Lesléa Newman and illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez invite young readers into a space where creativity and acceptance are enjoyed by all, and where each child will be inspired to say, "I can be... me!"
About the Creators
Lesléa Newman is the author of seventy books for readers of all ages. She has received numerous awards for her work, including two Stonewall Book Award Honors and a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Newman is also a popular presenter at conferences, libraries, and schools. She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with her spouse, Mary Grace Vazquez. Learn about Newman’s children’s books at lesleakids.com.
is an award-winning children’s book artist, author, activist and progressive educator. Her work addresses systemic inequity in relation to race/ethnicity, sexism and cissexism using children’s books as radical agents of change and healing, both personally and culturally. She co-founded Reflection Press, a POC, queer and trans owned independent publishing house that uses holistic, nature-based, and anti-oppression frameworks in their books and materials for kids and grown-ups. She is also the creator of the Gender Wheel, a tool to express the dynamic, infinite and inclusive reality of gender, and provides lectures and workshops to educators, parents and caregivers. Visit her online at mayagonzalez.com.