{book} freckleface strawberry

on

DAY 15

Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore

illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Bloomsbury, 2007.

I reviewed sequels Strawberry Freckleface before and was pleased to find that the Library happened to have the first on the shelf to read. Whichever book in the series you pick up first, just be sure to pick up the others. These are not some quaint little foray by a celebrity into picture books. Moore is good and she and Uyen make a great team.

If you have freckles, you can try these things:

1.) Make them go away. Unless scrubbing doesn’t work.
2.) Cover them up. Unless your mom yells at you for using a marker.
3.) Disappear. Um, where’d you go? Oh, there you are.

There’s one other thing you can do:

4.) LIVE WITH THEM!

Because after all, the things that make you different also make you YOU.

From acclaimed actress Julianne Moore and award-winning illustrator LeUyen Pham comes a delightful story of a little girl who’s different…just like everybody else.—jacket copy.

A little girl aka Strawberry Freckleface shares similarities with her playmates, but she also has differences. And it is a difference within her family, too; and though her baby brother has freckles, “he was just a baby.” It would be one thing if the difference aka the freckles did not invite comments from people and make her feelso different. But trying to get rid of them draws unwanted attention as well. And hiding? well, hiding her freckles means making herself unrecognizable and the little girl did not care for this option either. It was uncomfortable—and she was missed! “Who cared about having a million freckles when she had a million friends?” She comes to learn that she is just going to have to embrace the fact that she has freckles—even if it does make her unusual among her friends and family.

Freckleface Strawberry would be good for the len’tiginous one in the family, but it works with any visible or less visible difference, because the jacket copy has it right, Freckleface Strawberry is “delightful story of a little girl who’s different…just like everybody else.” Julianne Moore sets up the story for the reader/listener to understand how similarities and differences work, even if the little girl herself is still going through the process of learning her lesson: how differences come about can be mysterious, and they vary, and while awkward at times, it isn’t always terrible to be unusual, actually it is quite normal.

The very talented illustrator LeUyen Pham is not without her own valuable contributions of course. Besides translating a vivacious red-head with freckles into energetic visuals, she populates the pages with children who sport their own obvious and sometimes more subtle differences. A tall boy says she looks like a giraffe while a shorter boy corrects the simile by referencing her own short height. A boy in a green space suit (?) asks if he can smell her freckles—and if that isn’t weird… There is a set of identical twins. There are different colors of skin and hair, shapes of facial features and bodies. There are differing abilities and personalities—and capturing their personality is all Uyen.

Freckleface Strawberry is humorous and smart. It makes no promises that the whatever it is that makes you unique or stand-out is going to “go away a little” or that it will garner less attention or that you will stop wishing to be a little less unusual. In Freckleface Strawberry, what promise can be found is in how a change in perspective can make all difference better.

{images belong to LeUyen Pham}

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