Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Dear Girl
Publish February 25, 2018
In this affecting and uplifting picture book by the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter Paris, 19 short notes from mother to daughter offer words of encouragement and support to readers. Beginning with the affectionate salutation,“Dear Girl,” each missive has a warmly familial, conversational tone. “You won’t be invited to every single party on the planet. (Which is really okay – can you imagine how exhausting that would be?)” The letters explore themes of self-esteem (“Look at yourself in the mirror. Say thank you to something that makes you YOU”); finding and using one’s voice (“Keep that arm raised! You have smart things to say”); trusting one’s instincts (“say no”); and having fun (“Sometimes you’ve just gotta stop … AND DANCE!”). All of the pithy words of wisdom are dispensed with humour and compassion.
The watercolour, collage, and line-drawn illustrations by Toronto artist Holly Hatam are cleverly designed. In one scene, the round-headed, raven-haired protagonist is comfortably secreted in a window seat, surrounded by a stack of books and intently composing in her journal. Excerpts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written in a child’s cursive script, wallpaper the room. Dear Girl, is a celebration of individuality, creativity and strength.
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.
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