Thursday, February 12, 2009

Review: Too Tall Alice

Alice is tall. Not T-Rex or Empire State Building tall. Just four inches taller than the other girls in her class, and Alice is worried.

FOUR INCHES! That’s a lot of inches taller than everyone else. Her mom says it’s okay to be tall, and her dad says it’s okay to be tall. IT’S OKAY FOR THEM TO SAY THAT. THEY’RE NORMAL!

Alice wishes, really wishes, she was just like everyone else. Then, her dream takes her to the place where the tall girls live, and she sees, really sees, herself for the first time. -- Great Little Books

TOO TALL ALICE by Barbara Worton is a cute little kids' book with a wonderful message. This book tells the story of Alice, a little girl who is four inches taller than everyone else in her class. She's extremely self-conscious about her height; and if that's not enough, she even hears her parents discussing it (as well as her skinniness) with their friends. It's not until Alice dreams about a place where all the girls are tall that she discovers that appearances don't matter -- it's what's inside that counts.

I first read the book to my four (and a half) year old son, and I have to say that he didn't quite get it. I think he's too young to understand Alice's feelings, and he doesn't really get that people feel uncomfortable being different. Maybe it's his age, but I'm pretty sure that my daughter would have related to this book at four years old. I'm wondering if young boys just aren't as self-conscious or as judgmental as young girls.

While my son didn't really comprehend the story or the ultimate message, this book did give us the opportunity to discuss kids who feel left out for any reason. I loved that we could talk about feelings, and I also enjoyed talking about the message that "you can be anything you want to be." My son also liked the cover page and illustrations by Dom Rodi. The pages were filled with colorful pictures and had a lot going on. I liked that the type looked almost hand-written and that certain words were emphasized with a larger, bold-faced font.

Even though my daughter is past the recommended age range for this book, I asked her to read it. The message is one that we are constantly trying to get across to her, especially as she begins to feel more self-conscious. She loved the story! Here are Booking Daughter's comments:

"When Alice is afraid of being too tall, she visits a land of girls who are also tall. She learns what's important in life...not being tall. What's inside of you and how nice you are is what really matters."

I think this book has a wonderful message that our young children don't hear enough!


Anonymous said...

I just read this too, but haven't posted my review yet. I didn't love it, though, and my daughter, 9, wouldn't even read it. I think the cover was too "girly" for her.

Cheryl said...

I read this book as well and thought it was a good one.

Shelly B said...

Good review. I love that your daughter "got it." I posted a interview with the author today as well.

Anna said...

I read this one with my daughter. I thought it would be a good one for her since she's the tallest girl in her class, and all the adults she comes in contact with comment on her height. We'll be posting our review soon. I think it's great that you share these books with your kids.

Diary of an Eccentric