Coauthors Acosta (Little Captain Jack) and Amavisca (Bang Bang I Hurt the Moon) keep their focus tight, concentrating on Ben’s feelings and the way the boys’ taunting torments him (“He felt even sadder than the day his fish went to fish heaven”). Loose-lined drawings with gently tinted wash by Gusti (Mallko and Dad) underscore the intimacy and loyalty of Ben’s family. ~Publishers Weekly
This is a story inspired by true events.
Ben is a little boy, and he likes painting his nails. There’s no big reason to it, he just loves all the amazing colors on the tips of his fingers. Until one day, some of his schoolmates start laughing at him because of it. He suddenly feels sad, helpless, and doesn’t want to paint his nails anymore. Even when his father starts painting his nails to support Ben, the helplessness doesn’t go away.
Why can’t boys paint their nails? A tale to understand that a kid’s joy has no boundaries.
A simple story about a small revolution.
It's perfectly okay--in fact, it seems preferable--to be yourself. This would be a great title to share with youngster to spark some conversations about their own assumptions about gender and gender roles or what they might have done to make Ben feel okay about his colorful nails.
~Goodreads ~Barbara, Goodreads
Coauthors Acosta (Little Captain Jack) and Amavisca (Bang Bang I Hurt the Moon) keep their focus tight, concentrating on Ben’s feelings and the way the boys’ taunting torments him (“He felt even sadder than the day his fish went to fishy heaven”). Loose-lined drawings with gently tinted wash by Gusti (Mallko and Dad) underscore the intimacy and loyalty of Ben’s family.
Large, happy cartoon-like art in warm colors with simple text make this appealing for young audiences.
~Youth Services Book Review
An original and thoroughly 'kid friendly' picture book for children ages 4-8 that touches on emotions, being yourself, and peaceful solutions to negative confrontation.
~Midwest Book Review
A gentle message about bullying with a hopeful note of encouragement and support.
~Kiss the Book Jr.
This one’s for all the boys who like to paint their nails. A book about acceptance and being true to yourself.
The translation is smooth and the writing clear and straightforward. Children will understand the narrative easily and empathize with Ben. Gusti's watercolors are loose and flowing, similar to those of Chris Raschka. The bright nails stand out from the earth tones of the characters' skin, hair, and clothing. The love between the family is depicted through physical contact, and Ben's smile and rosy cheeks light up the final page, as he flaunts his blue polish while wearing a birthday hat.
~School Library Journal
I Love my Colorful Nails validates children to express themselves as they desire and models being an upstander. - First Thursday Book Reviews
This picture book offers a very approachable way to talk about gender expectations and how even small expressions of difference are important. A great book about gender nonconforming behavior in children and how a school can be a place of safety. - Walking Brain Cells
In exuberant illustrations, Gusti uses a strong, playful brown line and warm swathes of color to depict Ben's loving, contemporary family (along with adorable cat), his multiracial classroom and the streets of his city. While the text doesn't tell us how the ending comes about, it still highlights how loving family members, friends and educators can effect change. ~Shelf Awareness
A young boy who loves to paint his nails in cheerful colors is made fun of at school. His father and those around him paint their nails to stand against Ben's bullies, encouraging him to be himself, despite what others think. This picture book touches on emotions, being yourself, and peaceful solutions to negative confrontation. ~IndieBound