Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Yasmeen Ismail
Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
I’m a Girl! depicts a little blue donkey who is frequently mistaken for being a boy. She wears necklaces and plays with dolls, but she also makes messes, runs fast, and plays her music loudly. Throughout all her activities, she is quick to remind others that she is a girl, despite not being sweet all the time. The book concludes with her dancing with her friend, a lion, who celebrates being a boy just as the donkey celebrates being a girl.
The watercolor illustrations are beautiful and whimsical. The enthusiasm of the little donkey is well captured, as are the emotions of the other animals. However, the strong irritation displayed by the adult animals towards the donkey as she is messy and loud may give some children the wrong message. While the theme of the book is that boys and girls can have a variety of personalities and interests and still take pride in themselves, the adults do seem to primarily call the donkey a boy when she is engaging in undesirable behavior. This disapproval may cause some children to think that adults disapprove of boys in general.