Character-Building Kids Books |‘I Can Do It Myself!’ by Stephen Krensky

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All book choices and opinions are my own.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to hand-craft a home library for our twins that will positively influence their choices and values, as well as entertaining them. Obviously, this task takes an investment of time and money. We’re reviewing some of the books that have made the cut – so that others can quickly find ideas from those we’ve curated!

We are tired of books that only represent mainstream parenting methods such as punishment & rewards, or that only feature passive, silent or stereotyped women.

We’re also not fans of society’s ingrained childism – so books that encourage independence or treat kids with respect also get pride of place on our shelves. Books that encourage a fixed mindset are rejected (for example: labelling a child as a naughty boy, or saying they are mean. Behaviour can be mean, but your child’s behaviour is not your child’s self.) Children should be treated and spoken of respectfully.

There are a whole range of criteria for what we’d consider to be an inspiring kids book. Obviously not every book will cover every base, but we aim that the collection as a whole reflects these values.

As this blog series progresses, I’ll include links to our recommended books here:
Peck Peck Peck
I Can Do It Myself

I Can Do It Myself! by Stephen Krensky

What’s the plot?

A little girl enthusiastically talks us through all the day-to-day tasks she can complete independently.

The bold colours and quirky illustration style (by Sara Gillingham) are very visually engaging. The high contrast nature of the images mean this would be a good addition even to a young infant’s collection.

Is it robust?

This is a board book – perfect for unsupervised reading, as it’s well-made and stands up to punishment!


Does it rhyme?

The book has simple rhyming couplets that make for a pleasing lilt.

What about Gender Equality?

The protagonist is a smart, capable little girl. She is dressed in reasonably gender-neutral clothes. She gives off an air of confidence throughout.

What about Gentle/Respectful Parenting?

Early on in the book, she picks out her own clothes, and nobody passes comment on her mismatched attire – which smacks of body autonomy. She demonstrates an awareness of following her body’s cues and self-feeding – there are no power struggles over mealtimes here.

What about Montessori?

Ironically the cartoon images aren’t Montessori, but the thrust of the book most certainly is! This would be a great book to make available when discussing the various self-care tasks your child can do. She also helps herself to accessible food & books, which you’ll often find in Montessori homes.


What about Body Positivity?

This book models healthy eating without making a big deal out of it. The little girl chooses a healthy food of her own accord, and eats it with every sign of enjoyment. She is also featured exercising on her bicycle. Such role models are key in laying the foundations of body-positivity and lifelong health.

You can purchase ‘I Can Do It Myself’ here. On the off-chance anyone makes a purchase following this link, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to the customer – any proceeds will go towards funding the twins’ Home Education!


What are some of your favourite books? Any you’d like us to review? Let us know below…

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4 thoughts on “Character-Building Kids Books |‘I Can Do It Myself!’ by Stephen Krensky

  1. I LOVE the idea of carefully curating a library of books like this! And this book looks great! I’m trying to raise 2 girls and a boy that are self confident, and respectful of others. I’ll be adding this book to my wish list. 🙂


  2. Hi, I do like the positive message you want to send to your children through their books. As parents, it is important that we encourage our children to be independent and themselves and not to feel they have to fit into a ‘box’. This book seems perfect for doing just that.


    Liked by 1 person

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