The intended audience is both the dandelion children themselves, and any young people interested in learning about the theory, a hybrid approach that means less than half of the book is actually dedicated to lifting up those children. Instead, the theory and the lived reality of these neglected children is painstakingly laid out in details that illustrate the concept to kids who aren’t living that life, but could remind dandelion readers of all the troubles and trauma they have and may still currently be living through, such as “no one tucked you in at night,” “no one was there” to celebrate a winning goal, and “no one seemed to care” about a toothache.
Even so, the care that’s put into Dandelion Child by both the authors and illustrator clearly demonstrates–and makes the case for–their belief in the strength and value of these overlooked children. Regardless of the reader’s life circumstances, this exploration has the potential to uplift those children and teach others on the complexities of life as well as the lesson that not everyone is raised in an environment that’s supportive and loving. Mehlman-Orozco and Lowery-Keith ultimately tackle a tough topic while respecting the children they’re advocating for.
Takeaway: Children of all kinds will take heart from the uplifting message about the resilience of dandelion children.
Great for fans of: W. Thomas Boyce’s The Orchid and the Dandelion, Lisa Lanners Lewis’s Jayne's Story.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-
An earnest, well-illustrated work about troubled children and caring adults.