Gorgeously Me! | Jonathan Van Ness & Kamala Nair 


Out Now from Flamingo Books; 40 pages

About the Author: “Jonathan Van Ness is an Emmy-nominated television personality, two-time New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and hairstylist to the stars. He stars on Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning reboot series Queer Eye, where he shines as the beauty expert and self-care advocate. In 2020, he released Peanut Goes for the Gold, a charming, funny, and heartfelt picture book that follows the adventures of Peanut, a guinea pig who does everything with their own personal flair. Van Ness is a fierce advocate for social justice and elevating queer voices and experiences. Gorgeously Me! Is Van Ness’ second picture book that celebrates the uniqueness in everyone” (Bio from Gorgeously Me!).

Find Jonathan Van Ness on the following platforms:

About the Illustrator: “Kamala Nair is an illustrator and architect who seamlessly integrates intricate patterns, meticulous details, and vibrant colors into her artistic creations. She recently illustrated The Way Champs Play, written by renowned tennis champion Naomi Osaka. As an artist seeking pleasure through travel and immersing herself in the lives and journeys of people and cultures across the horizons, her unwavering curiosity echoes in her art. She lives in Kerala, India” (Bio from Gorgeously Me!).

Find Kamala Nair on the following platforms:

“It doesn’t matter what the world sees because I’m perfectly, happily, gorgeously me.”

Queer Eye’s Jonathon Van Ness teams up with talented artist Kamala Nair to deliver a joyous picture book that depicts the challenges and benefits of staying true to oneself and embracing the characteristics that make you unique. The book features a diverse group of children celebrating their triumphs and powering through their struggles with the help of their community of friends and loved ones. There is no linear plot; instead, the story highlights a collection of impactful childhood moments, from anxiously awaiting dance recitals to finding new friends at school. Gorgeously Me! strives to promote self-acceptance and finding joy in our differences.

This is a picture book that belongs on everyone’s shelf. Even as an adult reader, I found Gorgeously Me! very uplifting and motivational, as it reminded me that everyone brings something different and valuable into our world. I especially appreciated the emphasis on community and connection. Van Ness and Nair effectively depict the connection between love and strength, showing how acceptance and inclusion lead to people feeling safe being themselves and sharing what makes them special. Kamala Nair truly breathes life into this picture book, demonstrating how a beautiful, straightforward message can be incredibly elevated by graphics. Though there were relatively few words on each page, I found myself pouring over each image for a long time, appreciating the intricate details and bright colors. I loved the representation of children with different races, abilities, and interests in the illustrations. Though the characters were unnamed and not described in the text, they each had unique passions that were evident throughout the entire story. I fell in love with Nair’s illustrative style, and I will be on the lookout for more of her works in the future! 

Overall, Gorgeously Me! is an empowering celebration of joy that would make a great recommendation for anyone, particularly young children who are just beginning to figure out their place in this world. 

Ashley Amacher, Pine Reads Review Assistant Director, Lead Editor, & Writer