By Patricia Tauzer,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teased girl learns self-acceptance in fun friendship tale.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Most kids are familiar with the kind of teasing and nicknaming that happens on the playground. Both can be a normal part of friends playing together, but sometimes teasing words can be hurtful, especially when they focus on a person's physical difference. This book can help kids talk about what to do when they feel hurt, and self-conscious. They can also learn a little about teasing itself, when it's OK and when it goes too far.
Accept yourself as you are (freckles and all). Everybody's different. Value your true friends. Be careful with teasing -- it can be hurtful. Readers who have freckles and never felt self-conscious about their freckles might wonder what all the fuss is about. Hopefully they won't begin to think of freckles as a bad thing.
Positive Role Models
Freckleface Strawberry's a regular kid with regular feelings. She's an active, energetic girl who loves to play with her friends. Kids can relate to her. She hates her freckles, which is not so much about beauty as it is about feeling different and being teased. She struggles with her self-conscious feelings until she figures out that her friends are true and important, even though they call her Freckleface Strawberry, and even her freckles are not that bad. And even the kids who teased her on the playground meant no harm.
Violence & Scariness
This book has no violence, though it does show some kid-like teasing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Freckleface Strawberry is a fun-to-read-aloud picture book with the exuberance of a playground at lunchtime. Though younger readers may enjoy it, it's written more for school-aged kids who are learning how they fit into the larger world and what to do about teasing they may encounter. The main character feels self-conscious about her freckles, especially when other kids make comments and give her a nickname she doesn't like. The final message is not that her freckles are beautiful, but maybe they don't matter. More important, people are happier when they accept who they are and what they look like.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY is the story of a feisty young girl who feels different from everyone else because of her red hair and freckles. Kids tease her, ask her embarrassing questions, and give her a nickname she hates. She goes to great extremes trying to make her freckles disappear, even going so far as to wear a ski mask to school. Though she never completely accepts her freckles, she does accept herself for who she is and learns that she has some very good friends.
Is It Any Good?
With a Japanese brush pen and digital coloring, LeUyen Pham has brought a playful, energetic exuberance to Julianne Moore's funny dialogue and sweet story of Freckleface Strawberry. This is a picture book that comes alive when read aloud and will tickle readers of all ages. It offers a valuable lesson about self-acceptance and will give families of school-aged kids plenty to discuss. The somewhat negative treatment of freckles may be the only drawback, especially for freckle-faced kids who've never before thought of them in a negative light.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about teasing. When's hurtful? When's it fun? Do you think her friends thought her freckles were bad, or just unusual? What other books have you read about kids who feel bad about being different?
Freckleface Strawberry felt she was just the same as her friends, except for her freckles. Do you think she was right? What can you tell about her friends when you look at the illustrations? Are they all the same? What differences do you see?
How do you feel about freckles? Do you have any? How do the illustrations show us how Freckleface Strawberry feels about hers? How about the illustrations at the end of the book?
- Author: Julianne Moore
- Illustrator: LeUyen Pham
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date: October 16, 2007
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 8
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
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