Stacy McAnulty, Author
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, Illustrator
Running Press Kids, Fiction, Sep. 13, 2016
Suitable for Ages: 3-8
Themes: Girls, Defying stereotypes, Gender equality, Empowerment, Potential
Opening: “Beautiful girls…have the perfect look.”
Synopsis: “Every girl is unique, talented, and lovable. . . .Every girl is BEAUTIFUL.”
Much more than how one looks on the outside, true beauty is found in conquering challenges, showing kindness, and spreading contagious laughter. Beautiful girls are empowered and smart and strong!
BEAUTIFUL breaks barriers by showing girls free to be themselves: splashing in mud, conducting science experiments, and reading books under a flashlight with friends. This book will encourage all girls to embrace who they are and realize their endless potential.
Why I like this book:
There is everything to love about Beautiful. It is not your stereotypical “sugar and spice” picture book about girls. These girls have substance and they aren’t afraid to get dirty and smelly. They play sports, plant gardens, play pirates in ponds, study insects and tinker with gadgets. This story is a refreshing and more realistic portrayal of girls. They are happy and embrace themselves for who they are.
Although McAnulty’s minimal text describes the girls as graceful, having the perfect look, smiling sweetly, smelling like flowers and having a smart style, Lew-Vriethoff’s illustrations paint a different picture. Her bold and colorful artwork is racially diverse and shows girls of different sizes wearing glasses and braces, or playing basketball in wheelchairs.
Beautiful celebrates girls for their individuality. It is a story about personal empowerment and it will encourage girls to realize their endless potential. It is uplifting and makes you smile at these independent little girls who play with abandonment. This also is a good book to share with boys.
Resources: This is a perfect classroom discussion book for all young children. Use Beautiful to start a conversation about how girls and boys see each other. Can girls put worms on hooks? Can boys jump rope? Talk about breaking gender roles. Ask children what it means to be beautiful.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.