'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Review: The Goblin and the Girl

What sort of child were you (or are you)? Were you brash and brave? Or were you shy and lacking self esteem? When you are a child things like acceptance can be scary and confusing. Especially if you are shy.

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She was quite normal, but when she looked in the mirror, she didn't see herself ... instead, she was a goblin.

The way children can see themselves, especially young girls these days, can be a reflection of so many things. Society, advertising and their peers. Heartbreakingly it is a sadness that can creep into a young life when they fail to see their own beauty (inner and out).

Our friend in the book doesn't go to parties, have friends over, go swimming, dance or play in the park because she is scared the other children will see the goblin she sees in the mirror. So at school, she always wears a large hat under which she can hide.

On her way home from school one day, there is a storm. The wind blew hard and it started to rain. The strong wind took the girls hat from her head and carried it onto a high tree branch. So the girl thought she had no other choise but to run into the forest to hide from the other children, but she ran too far and got lost.

Soaked to the bone, alone and terrified she began to cry. How would she get home now? She didn't know what to do.

Suddenly she hears a noise. A voice from the dark asks "Are you lost?"

She tries to hide her face. A kind boy offers to share his umbrella and talks to her. He recognises her as the girl with the big hat from his class. She takes a while to realise that he is not scared of her and for the first time in a very long while, she smiles.

When she gets home and looks in the mirror, what do you think she sees in the mirror now?

As I read this book my heart ached for this young girl. Difference, we know, is something to be celebrated not ignored, however when you are younger the only thing you want is to conform. To belong. You don't want anyone to see your flaws, somehow, you think it makes you weak and so you hide within yourself.

Read this book with your kids. They might get a really great story about a little girl, or just maybe they will get something else from it all together.

The book is a good reminder to smile at someone and even say hello, they might need it more that you can know or understand! Being a kid can be tough sometimes.

Title: The Goblin and the Girl
Author: Neil Irani
Illustrator: Park Yum
Publisher: Maverick , $20.99 RRP
Publication Date: February 2012
Format: Picture Book
ISBN: 9781848860780
For ages: 5+
Type: Paperback