When I was a kid in elementary school, I had a classmate named Pessy who was convinced there was nothing special about her. She couldn’t sing, dance, or act to save her life; she was all left thumbs when it came to artwork; and her grades were pretty average. The thing was, Pessy had a heart of gold. People loved her, and I think a lot had to do with the fact that she was so unpretentious. She was a magnet for little kids—with their highly tuned sensors, they obviously picked up on her “gutskeit” and were drawn to her.
Reading I’m So Special…and So Are You! made me think of Pessy. In this book, Yitz, like Pessy, thinks there is nothing special about him, though he wishes with all his heart that there would be. As different events play out in the story, and we see how very special Yitz really is, Yitz too begins to realize that being great has nothing to do with the talents Hashem gives a person. Rather, it’s the choices a person makes, his actions and his words, that make a person either a hero or the opposite.
This is a lesson we all try so hard to inculcate in our children. With low self-esteem so rampant in our society, and parents doing everything in their power to enhance their children’s perception of themselves, here is a beautiful story that really conveys to kids what we want them to know: that they’re special just by being their wonderful selves!
A super book to give to those super little people in your life!
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