Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? This book definitely fits the social-emotional category of picture books. At the beginning of the book, Lili is proud of her many unique features that come from her family members. But when she starts school, some students tease her and call her names. She tries to deal with this on her own by fantasizing that she could get rid of her freckles and red hair, eventually asking “how do you get rid of a heart that aches?” With her family’s support, she creates a polka-dot butterfly to “fly the heartache away.” And when she shares her feelings with her teacher and classmates, she receives support from them as well. Readers would likely be able to use some of her strategies in their own lives. The end of the book also lists some related activities readers could try, including making their own butterfly, building positive self-esteem while creating a self-portrait, and playing “Follow the (Kind) Leader” with friends.
Anything you did not like about the book. Though the book focuses on teaching important emotional strategies, there is not much else to the story.
To whom would you recommend this book? Great for teachers or families to read with children as an introduction to discuss self-esteem, bullying, and heartache. Read-alike for Chrysanthemum (by Kevin Henkes). Best for ages 4-7-ish.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts
Date of review: August 1, 2019