I am a huge Sean Covey fan, so I had high hopes for this Covey book targeted for young children. To begin with, the illustrations are fair. The main character Pokey Porcupine looks more like a cave-man character than a porcupine with sharp quills. Because Pokey looks more human-like than animal, he appears much older than the target audience in elementary school.
The story is told in the past tense, "Every time he walked by Biff Beaver, Biff made fun of him." The next page states, "Pokey would go home and look in the mirror." Did Pokey look in the mirror each time? Simple past "Pokey went home and looked in the mirror" makes more sense than the conditional tense (would). There is one attempt at humor in the dialog among the animal friends: "I fink he's wude," said Taglong Allie the mouse.
The goal of this little children's book is that you should like yourself for who you are, despite what anyone else may say. Given that goal, why does Pokey add glitter to show off his quills at school? On the following page, it is obvious that his friends and bad Biff are attracted to the glittering quills. In fact when Biff sees these adorned quills he says, "I wish I had quills."
When I read this book to my 5 1/2 year old grandson, I asked the questions for discussion at the end of the story. His response to the question "Did Biff like Pokey's quills at the end of the story? What made Biff change his mind?" was "Yes, he liked the quills because Pokey added GLITTER!"
Many years ago, when my daughter was in 3rd grade, there was a mean-spirited little girl who made fun of my daughter's beautiful blue eyes. This lasted a couple of weeks. We talked about what was being said to her, how this made her feel and what she could do - or not do. The book JUST THE WAY I AM would not have provided insight then and will be of little value today. This book had the potential to address a universal problem of teasing/bullying but instead side-stepped the issue with quick fix glitter .