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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

Becoming Vanessa

Updated: Aug 7, 2021


Dr Rudine Sims Bishop has coined the term “windows, mirrors and sliding doors” with reference to books. After reading this gorgeous literature, I am sure that this book can easily be windows, mirrors and sliding doors to many elementary kids. It is an apt book for first day of school read-aloud session – it touches on self-confidence, name stories, individuality, and making friends. Many young children will have mixed feelings on their first day of school – questions that will flood through their thoughts are – Will they like me? Will I make friends? Who do I sit with?


Vanessa’s first day was not great; she struggled to write her name and decided to pick a shorter name until her parents explained why they named her Vanessa. Her mom boosts her confidence by asking her to show her classmates her true identity – a blossoming butterfly.


What a lovely message for those students who are anxious about school. I love that this picture book is inspired by real life events from the author. The best part was the beautiful, detailed illustrations that bring out the emotions. A must-have picture book for every elementary library.

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