I’m Going to Start Here! by Raye Springfield

I’m Going to Start Here! by Raye Springfield
Publisher: Stonebrook Publishing
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

After twenty-five years, I’m Going to Start Here! is the delightful response to the very popular Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Like that best-seller, this book appeals equally to the young, those in the middle and to the ones who do not accept that a number defines age. With humorous verse and vivid pictures, it encourages kids, and kids at heart, to step out and reach for the stars. I’m Going to Start Here! invites you on a journey that’s fun, upbeat and inspiring. And chances are you’ll discover that indeed you already have within all you need to succeed in life. Now, everyone, get ready, get started and Come Fly with Me on this great adventure.

I’ll walk across that stage and go out with a bang.
I’ve learned my lesson. I’m ready to spread my wings
I have the power to make this life a stupendously, beautiful thing.

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One of the most important things one can do in life is decide who to surround themselves with and count on for emotional support. Ms. Springfield mentioned this topic more than once and gave her audience some age-appropriate tips on how to decide who would make a good confidant. The repetition of it was a great choice for these age groups, especially on the pages that had slightly different but complementary messages for older and younger kids. That isn’t an easy thing to accomplish, but there is definitely something to be said for writing a picture book for kids of all ages that also appeals to adults.

I also appreciated what the narrator had to say about failure, doubt, fear, and uncertainty. Everyone must deal with these things at some point in life. There are many good coping techniques out there to handle setbacks and disappointments, and the narrator shared a few of them. It was the positive attitude they encouraged their audience to cultivate that was most important, however.

It was delightful to see how the characters struck a balance between reaching for the stars and remembering where they came from. The lines that talked about reaching out to home and keeping in touch with the people who have always loved you made me smile. This was definitely something that is just as important for kids to hear as it is for adult readers.

While the narrator never mentioned self esteem specifically, they did have some important things to say about knowing one’s worth and learning to trust one’s gut when trying to make a decision. Yes, it’s good to ask for advice from trustworthy people, but there’s also something to be said for listening to one’s intuition as well.

I’m Going to Start Here! was a delightful read for people of all ages. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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