Book Review: I Believe In You by Marianne Richmond

I Believe In You
Written and illustrated by Marianne Richmond

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail from Sourcebooks Publicity inviting me to review a new children’s book for them. Being a preschool teacher I jumped at the opportunity and agreed to review the book. Let me say up front that I do not get compensated to write these reviews, I do get to keep the book, which in the case is perfect compensation.

As time passed I had actually forgotten about the book until it arrived in my mailbox one Wednesday afternoon. I had had a pretty busy day with my preschoolers and had a lot on my mind. My 18 year old daughter was preparing to leave on a plane trip to visit her best friend and I was a bit anxious about it. She was going to fly by herself for the first time and being the over-protective momma that I am I was having a bit of a hard time letting her go. She is a first year college student and has been away at school since August. Watching her leave home for school and walking past her empty bedroom every day has been very difficult for me; I have been so full of emotions. My son recently turned 13, an event that has forced me to realize that they are not babies anymore and that they are or have grown up. This book arrived at the perfect time for me.

The author/illustrator, Marianne Richmond explores the powerfully emotional feelings that a parent experiences as they watch their children grow up. The idea is that no matter what life throws at the child, the parent will always believe in them. How perfectly meaningful for me to have the opportunity to review this book at this particular time in my life. Dropping my lunchbox to the floor and tossing my keys on the counter I stood in my kitchen and carefully, meaningfully, read each word on every page, taking time to study the pictures and reflect on my own children and the journey that is their lives. My children are completely different, one is very confident and self assured, and the other is a bit unsure and quite shy. I have always told my children that they are who they are and no matter what I was on their side. So when I began to read this book, I felt as if it had been written just for me. The first page shows a baby in a diaper with the words “You came into our family with a big big job to do, the one of growing up into the one and only you!” The book highlights all of the ups and downs that children go through; from starting school, making friends, to happy times, to sad times, to being let down, being scared, making mistakes, to self image and so much more. And with each obstacle that the child faces, the parent is there proclaiming “I believe in you!” As I turned each page my heart swelled with emotions so deep and overwhelming that by the time I got to the last page I was crying so hard I could barely see the words. The story ends with the words “And I want you to remember, I’m here to watch the ride. I believe in one amazing you with all my love and pride.” I closed the book and stood there in the silence of my home, with tears streaming down my face thankful for the journey of motherhood and for the strength to endure both the good times and the not so good times with my children and so thankful for the opportunity to read this beautifully written and illustrated book.

I Believe in You is not only a children’s book but I believe a book for parents as well. This book reminds parents that it is our job to not only raise our children, but to instill in them the belief that we have in them and their ability to accomplish their greatest dreams and desires.

Marianne Richmond has done a wonderful job encouraging parents to support their children as well and showing children that their parents believe in them always. This book will forever be on my personal bookshelf and taken out often to remind myself, now the mother of older children, to always believe in them no matter what decisions they make or situations they go through. And hopefully one day down my life road, my own children will be able to pull this book out and read it to their children and share the same love and emotions that I had when I read it.

~Karla Robey
For Madame Deals

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