Title: Dear Girl,
Author: Amy Krause Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal
Illustrator: Holly Hatam
Published: Harper Collins 2017
If you know me in real life, there’s a good chance you know these three things about me:
- I have two little girls who are the lights of my life.
2. I wasn’t guaranteed to have those two little girls. I worked super-hard to make them a reality and I love science for its part in my family. Yay science!
3. I’m a gigantic mush.
I think that’s why Dear Girl, struck such a chord with me. The book is so obviously a love letter to a daughter. It was written by the mother-daughter duo Amy Krause Rosenthal (who was an amazing writer and whose books I am still discovering) and Paris Rosenthal. The illustrations were done by the extremely talented Holly Hatam. Let’s just take a little walk through this wonderful book and see what makes it so special (and why you totally need a copy if you have a little girl in your life).
I would’ve loved a book like this when I was younger (there really weren’t any books like this back in the eighties). This book is so affirming. Reading it to my girls, I watched as they were delighted by each page. They loved the art (it is absolutely adorable and quirky and so much fun). Here are some of my favourite messages from the book:
1. It’s OK to be neat and tidy or muddy and messy.
2. You have something beautiful about you (physically). Look at it, own it, thank it.
3. It’s OK to cry.
4. You might need a friend. You might need to be alone. Either way, it’ll be OK.
5. Ask all the questions.
6. Keep your sense of wonder.
7. Dance. (I love this page. The sister has jumped up to dance during dinner. The dog has joined in. The brother has his mouth open with his fork kind of mid-bite. It’s hilarious!)
8. Find people like you and unlike you. (I reiterated this one with Vivi. Making friends at school hasn’t been easy for her.)
9. Have special inside-jokey stuff with your people. (Like, say, if your BFF is the Glinda and you’re the Elphaba.)
10. If your gut tells you no, say no. (Yes times a bazillion.)
11. If you’re bored then you’re boring. (Hells yes! Vivi now quotes this at Lily.)
Then the ending…it tells the girl listening to the story that she can always turn to the book for encouragement. Or…turn to me (the person reading the book). And that’s when mama excuses herself for a tissue or twenty.
Dear Girl, is the perfect addition to your library. If you have a daughter, a niece, a little sister, a cousin…a girl-child in your life that makes your days bright and interesting, get them this book. Write a message in it. Read it to them often. Let them know that they are just perfect the way they are. I try to get this one in rotation at least once a week. You can’t have too much of this kind of positivity.
Mama’s review: 10+
Vivi’s review: “I love the art. The girls are all so cute! A+!”
Lily’s review: “I like the rainbow page. And the little hearts at the end!”