I consider myself a feminist. Perhaps a tad conservative to be honest, but I try to be in the middle of the spectrum. Therefore, when I see a new book about girl power, I am interested. My conservatism comes in with the thinking, “Is it going to be cliche? Is there something new or fresh to the theme? What jumps out to make this book better than the rest?” And the more the market is saturated with books like Dress Like a Girl, the more skeptical I become and the harder it is to please me.
This time, Patricia Toht created just another typical girl power story. Different religions and races are shown but not different body sizes (even the main girls’ parents are petite, thin, pretty) or differences in hair length. All the girls have long hair. Even the medium lengths are long. There is the idea of a girl can wear whatever she wants (astronaut outfit, pants, pretty dresses, swim gear) but everything is neat. Not a hair out of place. Nor a wrinkle. Not even a smudge on a face when exploring the living room jungle. I would have loved to have seen one tomboy in the mix. One girl be a little different.
Lorian Tu-Dean’s illustrations are also perfect. The lines straight, colors perfectly matched, just tidy. A positive is the fact there is not your stereotypical images of people. The parents of the girl having the sleepover are a biracial couple. The girls are all races. And one girl (at the beginning) casually waves goodbye to a woman wearing a khimar.
Take this book out of the library. Read it to your child. But I do not see this becoming a classic or even a favorite, unless this is your first book in this genre/theme.