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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Timothy, rejected by would-be friend Claude, wishes that the other boy will fail at something.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book reassures kids that it's OK to not be perfect.
Is It Any Good?
Rosemary Wells' story is a breath of fresh air and a soothing balm for a success-oriented society. With her thumb firmly on the pulse of a child's psyche, she soothes young readers while encouraging them to persevere and discover their own Violets. While some may consider the book a bit negative in its approach to school social life, Wells offers a realistic scenario that resonates with many kids. Only a minority of children become class superstars, and the emotional repercussions for the others is a very real issue.
Bright pastel colors and clean lines dominate the full-color illustrations. Little touches, such as her subtle alterations in the shape of the character's eyes, convey depths of meaning, from Claude's rather snide sidelong glances to Timothy's anxious expressions. Young children nervous about entering school can benefit from this reassuring tale that reminds children (and their parents) that it's perfectly acceptable to be less than perfect.
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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