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Rock What Ya Got

Written by: Samantha Berger
Published: September 25, 2018


"Rock What Ya Got" by Samantha Berger is a heartwarming and empowering children's book that celebrates individuality and self-acceptance. Through engaging rhymes and vibrant illustrations, Berger delivers a powerful message about embracing and loving oneself just as one is. This book, while primarily aimed at children, offers timeless lessons that resonate with all ages, making it a delightful read for anyone seeking a boost in self-esteem and confidence.

The story begins with an artist who starts to draw a picture of a girl. However, as the artist contemplates changes to her creation, the girl in the drawing, Viva, boldly asserts her contentment with herself, proclaiming, “No! I like me! Don’t change a line! Rock what ya got, and rock it fine!” This simple yet profound declaration sets the tone for the entire book, emphasizing the importance of self-love and the beauty of being unique.

Throughout the book, Viva demonstrates confidence and joy in her own skin. She dances, sings, and celebrates her individuality, showing that true happiness comes from within. Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious, encouraging readers to also embrace their quirks and differences.

Berger’s writing is both playful and poignant, striking a perfect balance between fun and meaningfulness. The illustrations complement the text beautifully, adding an extra layer of vibrancy and emotion to the story. The art is lively and expressive, capturing Viva’s spirit and the book’s overall message.

One of the key strengths of "Rock What Ya Got" is its simplicity. The message is clear and direct, making it accessible to children while still resonating with adults. It's a reminder that sometimes, the most profound truths are also the simplest.

The book also touches on the theme of creativity and the artistic process. It subtly conveys that art, like individuals, does not need to conform to specific standards to be beautiful or valuable. This metaphor extends to the idea that each person is a unique work of art, deserving of appreciation and love.

In the concluding pages, Viva’s confidence and joy in being herself inspire the artist, who decides to leave the drawing as it is. This ending reinforces the book’s message of self-acceptance and the value of staying true to oneself.

Final Thoughts

"Rock What Ya Got" by Samantha Berger is a delightful and uplifting book that champions self-acceptance and individuality. Its simple yet powerful message is beautifully conveyed through engaging rhymes and dynamic illustrations. This book is a celebration of being oneself and serves as a wonderful reminder for readers of all ages to appreciate and love who they are.

10 Big Ideas

1. Embrace Individuality

One of the core messages of "Rock What Ya Got" is the celebration of individuality. It teaches the value of embracing and loving our unique qualities and differences.

2. Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is a crucial step towards personal growth. The book emphasizes the importance of being comfortable and happy with who we are, flaws and all.

3. Confidence in Self-Expression

Viva's character demonstrates the power and joy of expressing oneself freely and confidently, encouraging readers to do the same in their own lives.

4. Resilience Against External Opinions

The story highlights the importance of resilience against external pressures and opinions, advocating for staying true to oneself despite outside influences.

5. The Power of a Positive Attitude

Viva's positivity and enthusiasm underline the impact a positive attitude can have on one's self-esteem and overall outlook on life.

6. Appreciating Inner Beauty

"Rock What Ya Got" teaches the importance of recognizing and appreciating our inner beauty, beyond physical appearances or societal standards.

7. The Joy of Creativity

The artistic elements in the book celebrate creativity and encourage readers to explore and express their own creative talents.

8. Importance of Role Models

Viva serves as a role model for embracing individuality and self-confidence, showing the significance of having positive examples in personal development.

9. Embracing Change and Growth

The book subtly addresses the concept of change and growth, suggesting that being true to oneself does not mean stagnation, but rather evolving authentically.

10. Universal Message of Self-Love

The universal message of self-love and acceptance in "Rock What Ya Got" is a fundamental principle applicable across all ages and stages of personal growth.

5 Exercises

1. Celebrating Individuality

Objective: To recognize and celebrate your unique qualities.

  • Create a 'What Makes Me Unique' collage with images and words that represent your hobbies, talents, and quirks.
  • Share your collage with a friend or family member and discuss what makes each of you unique.
  • Reflect on how these unique traits contribute positively to your life and those around you.
2. Self-Acceptance Journal

Objective: To cultivate self-acceptance and appreciate your true self.

  • Maintain a daily journal, writing down three things you appreciate about yourself each day.
  • Include aspects related to your personality, talents, and even challenges you're proud to have faced.
  • At the end of the week, review your entries and reflect on your journey of self-acceptance.
3. Expression Through Art

Objective: To explore and express your individuality through creative means.

  • Create a piece of art (drawing, painting, poem, song) that represents your personality and aspirations.
  • Focus on the process of expression rather than the outcome, allowing your creativity to flow freely.
  • Share your creation with a supportive group or friend, discussing the thoughts and feelings behind it.
4. Role Model Reflection

Objective: To identify and learn from positive role models in your life.

  • Think of a person you admire for their confidence and individuality, and write down the qualities that inspire you.
  • Reflect on how you can embody some of these qualities in your own life.
  • Consider how you can be a role model for others in promoting self-acceptance and individuality.
5. Self-Love Affirmations

Objective: To reinforce positive self-image and self-love through affirmations.

  • Create a list of positive affirmations that focus on self-love and acceptance, such as "I am worthy just as I am."
  • Recite these affirmations each morning and whenever you need a confidence boost.
  • Notice any changes in your self-perception and confidence over time.

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