I love the story, the message, the artwork is beautiful, it’s overall empowering, but I’m kind of conflicted about the fact that part of the story shows classmates whispering “she’s too chubby” and then the little girl continues wondering “am I too chubby” and is illustrated sticking her belly out and trying to suck it in. I bought this book for my four year old daughter because I want her to see images and text about empowered women/girls of color, but this book risks teaching my daughter a poor body image mentality, and risks teaching her the terminology of bullying someone for being chubby. She doesn’t even know the word “chubby” because no one has ever said it to her, she has no concept of sucking in ones stomach and has never faced judgement of this type. I feel that if I read this to her she would be asking me what this even means, and although I would try my hardest to explain that this is something you DO NOT say to someone, I already know that kids at her age are fascinated by trying on different roles and personas even if they are told they aren’t “good.” For example my daughter has been taught that hitting is bad but sometimes enacts pretend-hitting her stuffed animals during play time to process the idea... if I caught her enacting a scene of calling someone chubby during play time, or trying out the idea of examining the size of her belly... I would just be heartbroken. It’s a concept kids should be free from learning.
I can see this type of explicit storyline being cathartic for a child who may have unfortunately experienced this type of bullying before, and has a framework for understanding that this type of commentary is bad because they know how bad it feels. Or for an older child who has more developed empathic skills. But for my preschooler it’s pretty developmentally inappropriate.
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (3 September 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006279860X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062798602
- Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 0.6 x 25.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 386 g
- Customer Reviews: 121 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)