You Look Funny! – the first book I ever read and how it has shaped my life


Do you remember the first book you ever read on your own?  I mean really read, solo.  Not the book that mom helped you get through, or the one you faked because each page was memorized.  I’m talking about the book you opened up before bed and read out loud to yourself.

I do.

With my back propped against the wood headboard, and my lap under rainbow heart bedding, I opened up a small paper back and read “You look funny!” out loud.

Those of you who remember reading “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” or the “Hungry Caterpillar,” but not “ You Look Funny!” by Joy Kim, I’ll let you know what this book is about.

You Look Funny-101

There is a panda living his life, climbing trees and being happy.  That is until one day he came across an elephant who laughed at the panda and told him, “You look funny! You have funny ears.”  For the first time the panda was not so happy.  So he made floppy ears and then put him on his head.

Sure enough he comes across a lion who agrees with the elephant telling the panda, “you look funny.”  This time he was talking about the panda’s tail.  The story goes on to show the panda trying to change himself because all the different animals are telling him that he looks funny.

That is, until he meets a fellow panda.

Well the fellow panda also tells him, “You look funny,” but that’s only because the panda is trying to look like all the other animals.  With the other panda’s help the fake ears, tail, and zebra striped coat that he had on were shed.  The panda was able to see that he didn’t need to try to be someone he was not because others laughed at him.

The story ends with the panda being happy with who is.

It’s okay to look funny to others, as long as you are being true to yourself.

There is only one you.  Which means there is only one me!

If you don’t know me, and you’d ask people “Tell me something about Kimberly.”  They’d probably tell you that I live the life I want to.  I wear wigs.  I love to dance.  I take the time to listen to others and understand where they are coming from.  If there is something I want to do or wear it’s going to happen.  And if someone else is out there doing what they want to do or wearing what they aren’t to wear I’d embrace it.  Oh yeah, and I also love wigs.

Everyone is going to have critics, and it’s up to you to listen to them, or to walk right past them.  Most of the time, I walk by and I continue living my life.  Yet there are those times that I try to be something I’m not (like our friend the panda), and it backfires (like our friend the panda).  One of those things for me is that people don’t want to hear what I have to say.

Today, with this blog post, I’m not just walking by, but instead,  I am leaping past that voice telling me, “No one wants to hear that!”  and I am starting the K. Sienk Photography blog.

I am truly excited to begin really writing in the blog to help you get to know me, Kimberly (newborn and family photographer, artist, wig wearer, karaoke lover, and so much more), learn lessons, understand why I took a certain portrait, and to get tips and tricks for your portrait sessions and making the most out of photographs of your children.

Another lesson I carry with me from the first book I read also translates into my portrait photography.  All my sessions are on-location, and without studio lighting.  Embracing every moment in the now—I like to capture life as is.  An elaborate setup and fantasy portraits have their place, just not through my lens.

There is only one you.  So do what feels right, and let me freeze that feeling in time.

Do you remember the first book you read?  Did it leave any impact on your life?


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2 thoughts on “You Look Funny! – the first book I ever read and how it has shaped my life

  1. I do not remember the first book I read, but I loved this post, especially the part about living the life you want to live. Hell yes. I am all about that.
    And wigs. Love the wigs.

  2. What an awesome story to grow up with! I wish I had read it when I was a child (even a teenager). That’s a really good message in a world that tells us we “look funny” so often. Thank you for sharing this.

    I can’t remember the first book I read by myself. I do remember trying to read under the covers at bedtime because I didn’t want to go to sleep when I was little. Oddly enough, I’m still that way as an adult!

    (I found you on CreativeLive with April Bowles-Olin in her blogging workshop and I had to check out what you did different to your blog/website. I love it!)

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