A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What's the story?
Margo is thrilled to get a yellow tutu as a gift on her birthday. She delights herself by putting it on her head and wears it to school. Imagining herself as the sun, she’s eager to show her classmates. But Margo is taken aback when they laugh at her, calling her names and trying to pull it off. But her friend Pearl steps forward and says she likes it -- and invites her to play.
Is it any good?
Sisters Kirsten -- the author -- and Carin -- the illustrator -- Bramsen offer up an earnest book on imagination, individuality, peer pressure, and standing by your friends. The reaction of Margo’s classmates strikes true, and the image of Margo with knees bent in, clutching her beloved tutu to her head, will resonate with kids. Margo is resilient: Though hurt and sad, she doesn’t for a second reconsider the appeal of wearing her tutu on her head.
But the entire package comes across as a bit sticky-sweet and pat. Margo reacts to the teasing with tears, but doesn’t utter a sharp word back. When Pearl comes to her defense, the kids stop in their tracks, astonished. Unlikely events, as any playground veteran knows. The soft-focus paintings of shiny-eyed, pink-cheeked children coat the whole thing with a feel-good gloss that will appeal to kids but is too sweet for grown-up tastes.
Sweet, but veering toward saccharine. The soft-focus paintings of shiny-eyed, pink-cheeked children coat the whole thing with a feel-good gloss that will appeal to kids, but is too sweet for grown-up tastes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teasing. Have you ever been surprised and hurt by teasing? Have you ever felt badly seeing someone else get teased? What happened? How might you be able to handle it the next time it happens?
Tutus are normally worn for dancing, but Pearl and Margo come up with many creatives ways to use their tutus. Find something for dress-up play -- a funny hat, a grown-up’s shirt, a scarf -- and see where your imagination takes you.