Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me!
By Hannah Carmona Dias
Dark skin, curly hair, freckles, and full lips. Smart, strong, funny, and friendly. Lilly knows that she does not look like her friends, and others have noticed. Through playful, lyrical lines, Lilly speaks up for every girl who has been asked What are you? in this celebration of self-love and acceptance.
Hannah Carmona Dias is a writer who currently resides in Tennessee. Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me is her debut book, which tackles a topic she herself has struggled with. In addition to writing, Hannah is also a wife, mother, founder of Collective Art School of Tennessee, YouTuber, and actress.
In the News:
"Dark skin, curly hair, freckles, and full lips. Smart, strong, funny, and friendly. Lilly knows that she does not look like her friends, and others have noticed. Through playful, lyrical lines by author Hannah Carmona Dias, Lilly speaks up for every girl who has been asked What are you? in this celebration of self-love and acceptance. Charmingly illustrated by Dolly Georgieva-Gode, "Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me!" is a delightfully inspired and inspiring picture book that is especially recommended for children ages 3 to 10. While strongly and unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781632331694, $9.99)."
Celebrate Picture Books:
"For every child who wants to be seen for who they are inside, Hannah Carmona Dias has written an uplifting and empowering story. With honesty and admirable confidence, Dias’s main character, Lilly, addresses all those who are concerned only with figuring out where someone comes from and encourages them to instead focus on their intelligence, talents, kindness, and spirit. Clever rhymes carry the story and make the ideas accessible to all.
From Lilly’s bedroom to her dress patterned with rainbows to a sun-drenched day at the park, Dolly Georgieva-Gode’s vivid illustrations joyfully emphasize Lilly’s happy and self-confident personality. Lilly’s smile and eagerness to embrace her neighborhood and friends is infectious and will buoy readers to feel the same. Lilly’s friends, a group of diverse children, including one boy in a wheelchair, is a welcome depiction of community.
Images of Lilly at home, walking in the city, and playing with her friends are interspersed with portrayals of her feelings of being under a microscope, feeling like a jigsaw puzzle to be solved, and comparisons to typical movie princesses. One illustration that sums up Lilly’s feelings—as well as the message of the book—shows her explaining to others that Lilly (and every child) equals love.
A celebration of self-love and self-confidence, Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me! is an inspiring story for any child who faces questions from others, needs reassurance, or enjoys honoring their own strong self-image."
Little Brown Gymnast
"In honor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (it will be on January 25th!), Elle received a new book to review! Beautiful, Wonderful, Strong Little Me by Hannah Carmona Dias was already a winner for Elle at first glance. Just look at the cover! 😍
In the book, Lilly gets frustrated by people trying to guess what she is. Her racial ambiguity stumps many and though this initially annoys her, she learns that she is more than her skin color and hair texture. She also realizes that she doesn’t owe anyone any answers. WOW! You go, Lilly!
Elle had so many questions after reading this one. “But she’s Black mama. Her skin looks like mine and I’m Black.” she said. NOPE. Elle learned that just because people may look like her doesn’t mean they identify with what she identifies with. She learned how it’s not okay to make assumptions or to bug people about “what they are”. That it’s okay to recognize, appreciate and admire their differences but to not try and figure them out.
This book was FANTASTIC at opening up the discussion of identity. Mama has decided to donate a copy to Elle’s school since so many kids at her school come from many backgrounds. At last, those kiddos will feel represented. And as we know…representation matters!"