Paul Samuels’ bright and spirited children’s book, “Suppose,” warms our hearts with a cheerful and upbeat rhythm and knows just how to make a child smile through positive words and insightful messages that help the youth understand, appreciate and value themselves and others, physically and internally.
This playful book offers much more than entertainment and is exceptionally creative in its delivery method in telling and showing children (through colorful, fun illustrations) how valuable we are as human beings. He uses a first-person perspective, pulling children in immediately with an effective storytelling demeanor and has a humorous and engaging riddle-like style of writing throughout the poem that involves the audience/reader(s) and encourages them to engage, express themselves and… answer the narrator’s hypothetical, interesting questions!
Combining simplicity with intricacy, we discover many different layers to the poem that lead into various themes such as self-esteem, flaws, image, conflict, belief, appreciation, love, gratitude and God, giving children the opportunity to discuss different perspectives on outward and inner appearance, while simultaneously delighting in jokes and the comical nature of the narrator. This is great! It let’s us know that the author has personality (most good writers do!), has some personal experience when it comes to children and empathizes with the youth.
This book can resonate with people from all over the world, implementing the theme of diversity to celebrate the beauty and greatness in our uniqueness, from our eyes to our feet! The high-grade quality illustrations by Linn Trochim strongly support the author’s positive vision and children of all races and ethnicities are included in the eye-catching images, symbolizing all the different types of people in the world.
But no matter who we are or where we come from, Samuels’ poem teaches us an incredibly valuable and respected lesson: we are all the same.
For instance, in the first part of the book a boy says, “From a young boy’s face I snitched a nose…and stuck it down between my toes!” Leaving a sad, pouty nose-less young boy all by himself under the tree. Most of our children can relate to his feelings and are able to empathize too. Besides, how can anyone be the same without their nose?!
In another instance, he says, “from a girl’s face I plucked a smile and hid it down the road a mile,” and just like the boy before her, the expression on the little girl’s face after her smile is taken away speaks for itself, inspiring some of our children to ask, can someone really be happy without the gift of a smile?
The author follows up our question with an answer and says, “You couldn’t laugh without first having a smile, so you’d be thinking sad thoughts for quite a while.” We must say, we agree! Great way to follow up the scenarios to help children understand the underlying meaning.
Through cleverness and organization, Samuels uses multiple scenes to emphasize why God-given natural features such as our eyes, noses, mouths and ears are so important to our lives, providing good, thorough examples of why these unique characteristics/features are useful on an everyday basis, beyond making us look good!
In one example, the narrator snitches an ear from a young boy who wears glasses, causing him to have difficulty in keeping them on moving forward. So even though one girl lost her smile and another an ear, regardless of what feature or characteristic the child loses, the feeling of sadness is inevitable when we understand we’ve lost something of ours that is of great value – from our mouths to smile and speak, to our eyes to read and see, every single part of us makes us the specially-crafted, beautiful individuals we are!
Indeed, this poem builds confidence in children, upholds good principles like courtesy, love and respect and successfully promotes unity through words and poetry. Author Paul Samuels’ vision to teach, guide, motivate and support the youth through the publication of this book is truly admirable and we’re delighted to rate this book with 5-stars!
Fantastic poem and book, Author Samuels!
Realistic Poetry International, Honest Book Review Team, Printing Publishing & Book Services, www.realisticpoetry.com
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