Review of I Wear Self-Confidence Like a Second Skin

Reviewer: Adeola Gbalajobi


Written with a simple, singsong approach, author Tolu Akinyemi’s ‘I Wear Self-Confidence Like a Second Skin’ is a book that will delight every young reader who is learning to fall in love with words. A beautiful story about young Matilda who learns to be confident in every situation, ‘I Wear Self-Confidence Like a Second Skin’ is didactic, like a good children’s book should be. The simple language which the author employs make it an easy and enjoyable story to understand.

The story opens with scared little Matilda, who is panicking because of a fly in her room. In school, she stutters and couldn’t answer questions. Carefully, the author presents Matilda’s mother, who is kind and gentle in her way of nurturing confidence in her daughter. Illustrating the power of art and literature to mould and shape one’s personality, the mother reads her child a poem on ‘Self-Confidence’, instead of shouting and berating her.

It is important that we teach children virtues like confidence early in life. It is one important tool they will need to navigate life as they grow older. The book also shows parents and guardians a good way to engage their children in a world where they are still trying to make sense of their emotions and how to react to situations.

Vivid and pictorial, the illustration by Chris Nwoko also draws one into the story, providing stunning images and colours that will engage young readers.

The book is also important for Black children as the characters, like the illustrations suggest, are Black. This sort of representation is vital in a world where Black children rarely see characters who share the same skin tone with them both in books and on TV.

The prose is moving and soothing, and it will make a good bedtime read both for parents reading to their children and young ones who are learning to read.



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