Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seven Days of Picture Books - Day Three

Adults often look back on their childhood with nostalgia, remembering care-free days and uncomplicated days. Not surprisingly we tend to forget that children have their problems too. They have to find ways to fit in, ways to get along with others, and they have to find that elusive "happy with who I am and what I am" place. The picture book I have reviewed today takes a look at how one little girl comes to terms with the fact that being "la-di-da" might not be as wonderful as she thinks it is.

Elise Primavera
Illustrated by Diane Goode
Picture Book
Ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2010, 978-1-4169-7181-8
   Louise Cheese lives in an ordinary sort of town, and she has ordinary parents who are quite happy being themselves and looking like themselves. Louise, on the other hand, wants to be and look like a “big cheese.” Unfortunately, instead of having glamorous clothes to wear, Louise is stuck with a skirt that has a “stretched-out elastic waist,” and brown lace-up shoes that squeak when she walks. Louise asks to borrow her big sister’s “black patent leather pumps with sparkles on the toes,” but she is told that they are for “la-di-da occasions.” Louise would love to have la-di-da occasions in her life
   Then at last, Louise’s mother announces that she is going to take Louise shoe shopping. If Louise can only get some la-di-da shoes, then the kids at school will think that she is a real “big cheese!” When Louise’s mother chooses a pair of brown lace up shoes with rubber soles Louise is devastated. She is even more upset when she goes to school and sees that her friend Fern is wearing a pair of patent leather pumps with sparkles on the toes. How can this be happening?
   Most girls at some point wish that they could be famous, glamorous, or popular. They want to be something other than what they are, just like Louise. As they read this book, readers will come to realize that being who you are isn’t that bad, and sometimes having what you think you want isn’t as much fun as you thought it would be.
   With lots of humor and wonderfully amusing illustrations throughout, this picture book addresses an important issue in a unique way. 

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